Nixa man, former police chief charged

A Nixa resident and former law enforcement official was charged with felony harassment May 10 in Christian County Circuit Court.

The charge against Bobby Jason Smith, 36, stems from hundreds of text message exchanges with his ex-wife in which he allegedly referred to her derogatorily, blamed her for suicidal thoughts and suggested that she commit suicide herself, according to court records.

Approximately 89 printed pages of the text messages were provided to law enforcement by the alleged victim, according to the probable cause statement used to charge Smith.

Police “did observe several incidents where Bobby refers to [the victim]’s brother, who passed away in 1998,” according to court documents. In the messages, the suspect allegedly told the victim “she should go hang herself like her brother,” the documents allege, adding that the messages also included “clipart style images of people shooting themselves in the head and a photo of a pistol laying on what appears to be Bobby’s leg.”

In addition to the text messages, the statement alleges that Smith opened an account with the victim’s personal information on the credit monitoring website Credit Karma; however, the victim reported that her information had not been used to make any fraudulent transactions.

A former Pleasant Hope police chief, Smith is also facing a felony forgery charge in Lawrence County stemming from allegations that he purchased false certifications for a personal K9 dog.

The Bolivar Herald-Free Press reported that Smith submitted the allegedly falsified documents “indicating his dog ‘Thor’ had been previously certified from a police dog training school in Arkansas” while he was seeking employment as chief of police at Verona.

City council members there were suspicious of the document because it contained “numerous typographical errors,” the Herald-Free Press reported. Missouri State Highway Patrol investigators found no records on file for Smith at the school where he purported to have received the certification, and Smith “ultimately confessed to his knowledge of the police K9 certificate being false,” according to the Herald-Free Press report.

At press time, an arraignment date had not been set in connection with the harassment charge against Smith, and further information on the forgery charge was unavailable.

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