Kentucky man will spend life in prison for shooting at police during kidnapping

Published 9:01 am Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Ky. man who shot officer sentenced to life in federal prison

A Kentucky man who shot a police officer during a kidnapping has been sentenced to life in federal prison.

Jonathan Lee Smithers, 41, was sentenced Monday in federal court in Ashland. Smithers had already entered a guilty plea to attempted murder earlier this year in state court.

Federal prosecutors said in May of this year, Smithers physically abused a woman he had been in a relationship with and held her at gunpoint in a car and on foot until the woman escaped after several hours.

A responding police officer approached Smithers as he was coming out of a wooded area. Smithers shot Flatwoods police offficer Tommy Robinson in the throat. Robinson was hospitalized and survived the shooting.

“Mr. Smithers not only tragically kidnapped his trusted partner and led her on a series of terrorizing demands, but he then seriously wounded a local police officer,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen said in a media release.