Virgil Smith shooting charges cause shockwaves in Lansing

State Senator Virgil Smith now charged with assault, felony firearm, domestic violence and malicious destruction of property.

Just days after police say he fired shots at his ex-wife.

While smith was facing a judge today. His colleagues at the State Capitol were in session trying to figure out what to do about this. 

FOX2's Tim Skubick to check out how this is playing in the Michigan Senate where he says the mood is go slow, with no rush to judgement and no talk about the senator's legislative future.

Smith's Lansing office was locked and there was no car in his parking spot in back of the Capitol.

And when they opened the voting board to take attendance today, the senator was the only one not there.

With a colleague under arrest and facing an uncertain future, the Senate GOP leader told his colleagues not to talk with the media.

But the Senate Democratic leader was talking and summed up the attitude in the room.

"Until we hear the facts, it is difficult to make a decision on how to go forward," said Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint).

Senator Virgil Smith will likely stay away from Lansing for the rest of the week, his office does not want him to become part of a "media circus."

But as this story plays out, someone will ask, can Smith serve with this hanging over his head.

FOX 2: "So the talk of expulsion at this point would be wrong?"

"It would be wrong," said Sen. Bert Johnson (D-Highland Park) "It would be unfounded. We just are not at that place."

Even if Smith is convicted because he was not acting as a public official at the time, he might not be expelled if it comes to that.

"It absolutely was not a part of his public office," said Sen. Rick Jones (R-judiciary chairman). "He is alleged to have shot at his ex-wife's car at his home."

FOX 2: "So if it is not a crime as a public servant, he could not be expelled from the senate?"

"I think that's up to debate," Jones said. "But I don't want to pre-judge Virgil Smith."

So while the senator grapples with his legal problems, his colleagues are not rushing to judgement as the attitude is wait and see what happens. 

On Tuesday afternoon Smith was relieved "effective immediately" from his Lansing committees and duties by Ananich.
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