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Fox's Shepard Smith goes unpunished
Posted By Julie Foster On 07/09/2001 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Shepard Smith’s mug shot
Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith will go unpunished for what police say was aggravated assault with a motor vehicle.
On Friday, Nov. 17, during the Florida presidential election fiasco, Smith was arrested for allegedly driving his car into another reporter who was standing in a parking space she attempted to save for a friend. The victim, freelance journalist Maureen Walsh of Tallahassee, was hospitalized and released later the same day with bruises on her knees and legs.
According to Sgt. Edwin Maxwell, Walsh was standing across the street from the state capitol when Smith drove up and “shouted some profanities at her and basically just struck her, striking her at the knees, which threw her up on the car,” he told the St. Petersburg Times.
After a few case-management hearings between attorneys and the court, the charges against Smith were dropped, said the Leon County state attorney’s office.
Smith, who used to be a reporter for 20th Century Television’s “A Current Affair,” was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a motor vehicle. The felony charge came with a $10,000 bail price tag, which Smith produced so he could return to work. The story, while reported briefly by local publications and wire reports, quickly fell off the media’s radar.
WorldNetDaily has kept tabs on the case exclusively in its weekly “Backroom” editions, available for free to subscribers of WND’s e-mail alerts.
The super-star television personality also went unpunished by his employer, the Fox News Network. Fox spokeswoman Irena Stefan characterized the case earlier this year as a non-story, saying there is “no news to report here.” She also explained that Smith had not been reprimanded by the network “because no charge has been made.”
On the contrary, Smith was charged with a felony the day of the offense. The charge was later downgraded to a misdemeanor – not an uncommon practice, according to the state attorney’s office – and the anchor pleaded not guilty.
Smith anchors Fox New Channel’s “Fox Report” weeknights at 7 p.m. Eastern.
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