Dec 2, 2010 7:31 PM by Maddie Garrett
New information surfaces about the arrest and release of Saints player Will Smith in Lafayette. KATC's Maddie Garrett brings you an exclusive look inside the arrest from a man who sat next to Smith in jail. And the judge who released Smith finally gives a response.
The controversy first began early Saturday morning when Lafayette Police say they saw Smith pull his wife's hair. He was arrested on Jefferson Street and charged with domestic abuse battery.
"He was causing such a headache; yelling and threatening the officers that I was surprised that the officers weren't reacting differently," said Aaron Melancon, who was there when Smith was booked in.
Meloncon spent six days in the Lafayette Parish Jail, serving out his full term for not appearing at a court date. He says unlike the rest of the inmates, Smith spent less than in hour in custody.
"Will Smith should have gone through what we through, just like everyone else," said Melancon.
So just how did Smith get out so fast? Judge Phyllis Keaty set a $1,000 bond Saturday, but then Smith was let go that same day without paying a dime.
But according to a new state law -- ACT 584 -- that's illegal. The law clearly states that "a person cannot be let go on domestic abuse battery charges on their own recognizance." After KATC reported that fact on Monday, Judge Keaty rescinded the original bond on Tuesday and set a new commercial bond. Smith paid up that day, shelling out $35.
Judge Keaty also returned our calls Thursday morning. She confirmed that she is friends with the Smiths, because Will's wife, Racquel, worked in Family Court for four years. Keaty said she could not comment on the case due to court rules, only saying she ordered a $1,000 bond. The case will now move forward to the Lafayette city prosecutor.