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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 10, 2022

Wood County Constable Federally Indicted for Use of Excessive Force

SHERMAN, Texas – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging an East Texas law enforcement official with federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas.

Kelly Jason Smith, 46, was named in the indictment returned by a federal grand jury on Nov. 10, in Sherman, Texas, charging him with deprivation of rights under color of law.

According to the indictment, on July 25, Smith, the Wood County Precinct 2 Constable, directed his police dog to bite a suspect who did not pose a threat that warranted use of the police dog. These actions resulted in unnecessary bodily injury to the suspect. 

If convicted, Smith faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston for the Eastern District of Texas and FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Dwyer made the announcement.

The FBI Dallas Field Office is investigating the case and the case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Batson for the Eastern District of Texas.

 A grand jury indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Updated November 10, 2022