State Supreme Court rules on Virgil Smith plea agreement keeping him from office

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Another twist in the legal battle of ex-state senator Virgil Smith surfaced Thursday from the state's highest court.

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled to send Smith's case back to the lower courts, more than two years after his plea agreement for shooting up his ex-wife's car. 

Smith had been charged with multiple felonies for shooting up his ex-wife's car in 2015.  Instead of going to prison, Smith pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property. The deal called for him to resign, spend 10 months in jail, and agree not to run for office for five years.

At the time, Judge Lawrence Talon ruled that Worthy overstepped her bounds, but Smith resigned anyway. The prosecutor asked the Michigan Court of Appeals to reinstate the deal, but they declined and ruled, in part, that Smith didn't plan to run for office again. Shortly after Smith got out of jail, he declared that he was running for city council.

The state supreme court held that: the plea deal's provision that would keep him from holding office was moot and vacated, and that barring him from running for office for five years violated public policy.  

The third crux of the court conclusion was that a court must allow the prosecution to withdraw the plea when it strikes a provision in the agreement.

Maria Miller, a spokesperson with the prosecutor’s office said.  "We are pleased that the Michigan Supreme Court has remanded the case on to the trial court holding that the court must allow the prosecution to withdraw the plea agreement when the court strikes a provision.  

“The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office will determine how the case will proceed in light of this decision." 

Michigan Supreme Court ruling on ex-Sen. Virgil Smith case by David Komer on Scribd