Attempted Murder and Pursuit
During the early morning hours of Thursday, June 18, 2015, Saline County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) deputies were dispatched to an address in Bauxite regarding a domestic disturbance. Upon speaking to the victim (identity remains confidential), Trent Tyrone Smith had physically assaulted him/her with a weapon, and attempted to kill him/her by running him/her over with a vehicle. Smith had fled the scene prior to deputies arriving at the location.
The scene was secured by patrol deputies and members of the SCSO Criminal Investigation Division (CID) were dispatched to conduct further investigation. The victim was observed to have visible injuries, however it was determined that the injuries were not life threatening.
Based on the interviews conducted and evidence collected, an application for an arrest warrant was made to the Circuit Court of Saline County. Later that day, an arrest warrant was issued for Trent Tyrone Smith, charging him with: (1) two counts of attempt to commit 2nd murder; (2) four counts of aggravated assault; (3) two counts of terroristic threatening; and (4) one count of domestic battery.
During the investigation conducted by CID detectives, it was learned that Smith had made comments that he would not be taken alive by police. Due to the fact that Smith made those comments and was a threat to himself and others, the Saline County Sheriff’s Office began passing real-time leads to neighboring police agencies on Smith’s possible whereabouts.
In the late afternoon of June 18, 2015, Munfordville City Police officers in Hart County, Kentucky, observed Smith driving a red Dodge Dart in their jurisdiction. An attempt was made to stop Smith’s vehicle, however he failed to comply. The Kentucky State Police, Posts 3 and Posts 4, located in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, began to engage in the chase.
According to Kentucky State Police (KSP) Sergeant Mark Gillingham, the KSP became involved in the chase at mile marker #70 on Interstate 65. According to Sgt. Gillingham, attempts were made on two separate occasions to have spike strips deployed in order to stop Smith’s vehicle. Speeds exceeded 120 miles per hour during this 20-mile chase.
While KSP troopers were deploying spike strips, Smith intentionally avoided the strips and attempted to hit two troopers with his speeding vehicle.
According to Munfordville Police Chief Greg Atwell, prior to another set of spike strips being deployed near mile marker #88 on I-65, one of his officers performed a Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT maneuver) on Smith’s vehicle. As a result of the action taken by the officer from the Munfordville Police Department, Smith’s vehicle became immobilized. Two Munfordville Police Department vehicles were damaged during this incident.
Smith was taken into custody by the KSP. Sgt. Gillingham stated that Smith complained of pain in his leg and was transported to a medical facility for treatment. A short time later Smith was released and he was charged with two counts of attempted murder involving a police officer and numerous traffic violations. Both Sgt. Gillingham and Chief Atwell reported no injuries to either law enforcement officers or citizens of Hart County.
Saline County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Rodney Wright gave high praise to the men and women of the Kentucky State Police and the Munfordville Police Department for their actions during this 20-mile chase. Sheriff Wright also credited the detectives from the SCSO CID, as well as the dispatchers from the Saline County Office of Emergency Management for providing real-time information on Smith’s possible whereabouts to the Tennessee State Police and the Kentucky State Police.
Smith will face charges in Kentucky prior to being extradited to Arkansas. The investigation conducted by the SCSO has indicated that Smith has an extensive criminal history.