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Kentucky man shoots officer in throat, pleads guilty to federal kidnapping charge

Jonathan Smithers.jpg
Posted at 9:59 AM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 10:03:33-04

ASHLAND, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Kentucky man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal kidnapping charge.

41-year-old Jonathan Lee Smithers faces a sentence of life imprisonment, pursuant to the plea agreement.

According to Smithers’ plea agreement, Smithers physically assaulted a victim with whom he was in a romantic relationship on May 1.

Under threat of force and using a firearm, Smithers made the victim accompany him to a store, where he assaulted her with the weapon and confined her in the vehicle.

Smithers then drove her to the Flatwoods area, stopped the vehicle, and forced her to exit.

He was still armed when he then forced her to accompany him on foot, requiring her to climb fences, trespass on private property, and travel random routes around the area for several hours.

She was eventually able to escape and hide from Smithers. Law enforcement found her collapsed at a gas station.

Smithers remained in the area and was seen coming out of the woods when law enforcement responded.

As law enforcement approached him, Smithers shot a responding officer in the throat. The officer survived the life-threatening injuries.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, KSP, Ashland Police Department, Flatwoods Police Department, and the Greenup County Sherriff’s Office.