A northeastern Kentucky man accused of shooting a police officer has pleaded guilty to a violent, bizarre kidnapping.
Jonathan Lee Smithers allegedly shot the officer in the throat when he arrived to investigate the kidnapping. The officer suffered life-threatening injuries but has since recovered, according to a plea deal in the federal case.
Smithers, 41, of Cattlettsburgh, has been charged in state court with attempted murder and other charges while federal authorities have filed separate kidnapping charges against him over events in Boyd and Greenup counties .
Smithers kidnapped a woman identified as SK last May, according to a court document. The two were in a relationship at the time, according to a court document.
Smithers, angry with SK, punched her. She hid in the bathroom, but Smithers threatened to shoot her if she didn’t come out.
Later, Smithers asked SK to go with him to Walmart, and he shot her in the head with a gun as they sat in a car in the parking lot.
According to his plea deal, Smithers also let SK go with him to Flat Woods, where he forced her to climb fences, trespass on private property and “walk around the area for hours at will.”
The exhausted woman eventually collapsed on the riverbed.
Smithers dragged her to a spot near some of the apartments, and when he turned around, she was able to crawl into a dark place to hide.
Smithers looked for her, but left after not being able to find her. SK then went to a nearby gas station and was pumped to the ground, where she was found.
A resident saw Smithers coming out of the woods and alerted police. When they arrived, Smithers allegedly shot and killed a Flatwood officer.
A federal court’s plea deal for Smithers calls for a life sentence. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for December.