Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Pastor Faces Charges in Fatal Accident

Faulkner County, Arkansas - A pastor from Quitman faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident that left one man dead. Reverend Kerry Von Smith was leaving a church off Highway 65 in Faulkner County a couple of weeks ago when a crash occurred.

Smith appeared in court for his arraignment Monday. Channel Seven spoke with both the prosecution and defense in this case. Church leaders are not commenting except to say the reverend is innocent until proven guilty.

Wednesday morning, November 2, police say Reverend Kerry Von Smith was leaving the Church Alive parking lot off Highway 65, but after entering the southbound lane, police report two dump trucks following the pastor slammed on their brakes. One truck reportedly swerved into the northbound lane, killing a 45-year-old man. The prosecution says Smith, who pastors the Howard General Baptist Church in Quitman knew an accident had happened but left the scene regardless.

(Stephen Hawks, Deputy Prosecutor) "That's one of the main things well have to do is to prove what he did and what he knew as he was doing it."

(Lynn Plemmons, Atty. Representing Smith) "From his point of view he was driving legally and lawfully when he was almost run over by a truck going in excess of the speed limit."

The attorney representing Smith says his position as a pastor only strengthens his case.

See also, the never-ending chronicle of church-related crime.

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