Breaking news: Smoot-Thomas is arrested again.
Suspended Harris County judge arrested, accused of firing gun during fight with husband’s girlfriend
August 12, 2020
A suspended Harris County civil judge who last year was indicted on federal wire fraud charges has been arrested in connection to an assault involving her estranged husband’s girlfriend at a Houston home, her lawyer said.
Police took state District Judge Alexandra Smoots-Thomas into custody at her Rice Military home Wednesday morning, the lawyer continued, with authorities saying she was accused of firing a shotgun during an argument with a woman Monday night in the 14000 block of Jewel Meadow Drive. Smoots-Thomas, who lost her re-election bid in July, has been out on bond for federal charges and was not permitted to possess a weapon, court records show.
Smoots-Thomas called her attorney, Kent Schaffer, as police arrested her. Schaffer said, citing police, that the allegation involved a fight over her husband’s extramarital affair.
She was suspended last November following the indictment over allegations that she spent campaign donations on personal expenses.
Over the past year, Schaffer said, Smoots-Thomas has undergone cancer treatment, been indicted in a federal case and then removed from her bench in the 164th Civil Court.
“She’s been in a real tailspin,” Schaffer said, adding that the cancer is in remission.
Smoots-Thomas has since been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, court records show. Bond was set at $10,000.
Police said the shooting happened as followed: A woman, now identified as Smoots-Thomas, called her estranged husband and his girlfriend to say she knew the two of them were together at the Jewel Meadow Drive home, court records show. Smoots-Thomas revealed she was going to the home and that, “You’re going to see what’s up.”
She was at the home within 15 minutes and announced her arrival with repeated horn honks, records show. The commotion brought several neighbors outside, some of whom overheard Smoots-Thomas argue with the daughter of her husband’s paramour.
When the girlfriend came outside, she was wielding a long board, court records show. The judge then pointed a shotgun out her car window.
The girlfriend tried hitting the barrel away with the long board but Smoots-Thomas opened fire and blasted the house, an investigator detailed in court records. At least three shots could be heard in security footage from a neighbor’s security camera. Police said the shooter then fled. No one was hurt.
The judge, when reached Tuesday at her home, declined to comment and slammed the door shut.
A pair of bullet holes could be seen on Aug. 11, 2020, at a home where suspended judge Alexandra Smoots-Thomas was accused of firing a gun during a fight.
At the same home, Smoots-Thomas at some point threw her husband’s belongings into the driveway and forced her brother-in-law to gather his things. The relative collected more items from inside and found a loaded shotgun behind a door. Smoots-Thomas is alleged to have demanded it back, according to court records.
“I need to wipe my fingerprints off the gun,” the judge said, according to those records.
At the Jewel Meadow Drive home on Tuesday, a pair of closely-grouped bullet holes above the garage were identified as being from the shooting. A woman who answered the door declined to talk about the shooting because a police investigator was there asking questions. The detective would not elaborate on the investigation either as he walked to his car.
Police spokesman Kese Smith said a resident in the home identified Smoots-Thomas as the suspected shooter.
The shooting was witnessed by at least one other person, Smith continued. A neighbor who declined to be identified said she heard the gunfire and stepped outside as the shooter drove off. She said she heard a woman shout, “Why are you shooting at my daughter.”
The federal trial on the judge’s wire fraud charges, stemming from misusing $24,892 in campaign funds, is slated for November. In that case, she was accused of using the money on a home mortgage, private school tuition, a Prada handbag and a ring from Zales.
In a statement, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said their Public Corruption Division was handling the prosecution.
“The law applies equally to everyone, including those in positions of power,” Assistant District Attorney Stuart Tallichet said.
So how are our Trump judges selected with Leonard Leo’s help? By https://t.co/OG8impT10W: using shell entities with no staff; anonymous advertising; enormous pay packages for operatives; and judicial “lists” prepared secretly. And $250M in dark money. https://t.co/tLAAz1PCyX pic.twitter.com/hgZftn0bLc
— LawsInTexas (@lawsintexasusa) March 9, 2020