Former Sen. Virgil Smith accuses Wayne County prosecutor of retribution in growing legal battle

Legal battle brews between Virgil Smith, Kym Worthy

DETROIT - There's a legal battle brewing between former state Sen. Virgil Smith and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Smith, who was forced to resign from office after taking a plea deal for shooting up his ex-wife's car, said Worthy is getting back at him for violating the deal.

While Smith is fighting for his freedom, he made a bold request to bring Worthy to court and be put on the witness stand. He has accused her of a vindictive prosecution.

The legal battle started when Smith pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property after shooting up the car. He agreed to serve 10 months in jail, resign as state senator and not run for public office.

Judge Lawrence Talon changed the plea, though, removing the mandatory resignation and restriction on running.

Worthy created a new policy that, only in Talon's court, defendants will no longer be offered any plea deals.

"The defendant not having the right to a plea bargain, I believe, was a violation of equal protection," Talon said.

When Smith ran for Detroit City Council and lost, Smith's attorney said Worthy was upset again.

"What the prosecutor has been trying to do is punish my client," attorney David Steingold said.

Ultimately, the state Supreme Court said Worthy was wrong to prevent Smith from running for office and the judge was wrong not to let her take back her plea deal when the judge changed the terms.

The court gave Worthy the right to try Smith again, despite the fact that he was already serving 10 months in jail.

"This was vindictive," Steingold said. "This is retaliation for Virgil Smith defying what Kim Worthy wanted."

Smith said he wants Worthy to take the stand and explain.

"The only reason he wants to call Kym Worthy as a witness in the case is to give him the plea offer he wants," Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Lisa Lindsey said.

There appears to be little, if any, chance the two sides will come together on a plea deal, which means they will be back in court May 22. At that time, the judge will decide if Worthy will take the stand.

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