An Anoka County District Court judge March 30 sentenced a 35-year-old man to 12 years in prison for assaulting his 81-year-old father in his East Bethel home one year ago.
A jury Feb. 2 found Reid Otis Smith of Shoreview guilty of felony assault in the first and second degrees as well as a terroristic threats charge. He was found not guilty on an attempted second-degree murder charge.
The 12-year sentence handed down by Judge Jenny Walker Jasper exceeds the sentencing guidelines for this crime by 41 months, according to the Anoka County Attorney’s Office, which had requested a longer sentence because of the cruelty of the crime, the vulnerability of Otis Smith due to his age and because the incident happened in his home where he had an expectation of privacy and safety.
According to the criminal complaint, Otis Smith of East Bethel claimed his son Reid Smith had punched, kicked and head butted him when they were having an argument about Reid Smith allegedly taking two of his father’s handguns from his home.
Otis Smith testified that his son repeatedly hit him in the head and body with his fists and household objects, and threatened to kill him, according to the county attorney’s office.
Otis Smith further testified that Reid Smith had a handgun and told him, “This is the day we’re both going to die.”
But Reid Smith’s attorney Bryan Leary said his client testified that he hit his father with a phone, but denied hitting him with a dumbbell, wall clock, or banjo, which is what Otis Smith told police. He also denied tearing an electrical cord from the wall and wrapping it around his father’s neck.
Both Smiths stated in their testimony that the father fired a shot at his son during the argument, but they both said the other person fired the other three to four bullets that investigators found. One bullet struck a family portrait.
According to the county attorney’s office, Reid Smith fired a gun at the portrait and fired the handgun in the residence at least two more times that day. There was no fingerprint or gunshot residue to help determine who fired the other shots, Leary said.
Leary said Reid Smith will be doing almost as much time as if the jury had convicted him of attempted murder.
He did not understand how his client could be sentenced to 12 years for this assault case when another man sentenced the same day for sexually assaulting a boy an estimated 1,480 times was only sentenced to three-and-half years, according to Leary.
According to Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo, that sentence was within the guidelines in place for first-degree criminal sexual conduct at the time the crime was committed.
Eric Hagen is at firstname.lastname@example.org