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The Indy Star
By John Tuohy, firstname.lastname@example.org
August 4, 2006
A Morgan County sheriff’s deputy who said he had been suffering from depression and stress was charged with aiming a shotgun at his ex-wife and her boyfriend — both on-duty police officers — while his 4-year-old daughter stood by his side.
Brock Smith, 30, was charged with one felony count of pointing a firearm. His ex-wife, Dawn Smith, is a Martinsville police officer, and her boyfriend, Steve Hoffman, is a Morgan County deputy.
The altercation occurred at 2:30 p.m. Monday at Brock Smith’s Martinsville home, Sheriff Robert Garner said at a news conference Thursday.
That morning, Brock Smith returned his daughter to his ex-wife after a weekend visit. Dawn Smith, who was about to begin her shift, later noticed a red mark on the girl’s neck.
Smith went to her ex-husband’s house with their daughter to talk about the mark. Fifteen minutes later Hoffman, who was working overtime, pulled up to the home, and Dawn Smith went outside to meet him.
After an exchange of words among the adults, Brock Smith opened the kitchen window and pointed a shotgun at Hoffman and Dawn Smith with his daughter standing by his side, Dawn Smith told investigators.
She and Hoffman left and called the sheriff’s office.
“It could have been a very serious situation if cooler heads hadn’t prevailed,” Garner said.
The sheriff said doctors determined the mark on the neck was just a rash.
Brock Smith later turned himself in and was released on $2,500 bond.
Dawn Smith got their child soon after the incident, said Martinsville Police Capt. Jeff Buskirk. The girl is with her mom, and Brock Smith is under a Morgan Superior Court order to stay away from them.
Brock Smith, a deputy for 22 months, was on 10 days’ paid suspension for using foul language toward a motorist during a traffic stop on Ind. 37. He is now on indefinite paid leave, and Garner said he would recommend his firing.
Smith told detectives that he had been using anti-depressant drug Zoloft until about three weeks ago. He said he started using the drug about a year ago because he was suicidal and depressed but stopped because it made him tired.
He said since then it had been “hell” and “every little thing has set him off,” according to statements to police.
Call Star reporter John Tuohy at (317) 444-2814.