Fayette county fugitive responds to girlfriend's claims - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Fayette county fugitive responds to girlfriend's claims

A Mid-South fugitive, on the run from police, called Action News Five on Thursday and said he wanted to turn himself in.

The phone call came just days after Fayette County Judge Mike Whitaker released 28 inmates, including Willie Smith, from the Fayette County Jail.

In an exclusive interview Wednesday with Action News Five, Jessica Thomas said Smith assaulted her just hours after he got out of jail.

"He hit me the first time and then he came around and hit me again," Thomas said Wednesday.

Thursday, just a short time before Willie Smith made good on his promise to turn himself in, he called Action News 5 to tell his side of the story.  From an unknown location, Smith phoned to say he was ready to go back to jail and face assault charges filed by his former girlfriend.

"Ah, ah, accept, you know what I'm saying, reality," Smith said. "Like I said, I know I was wrong for what I did."

However, Smith disagreed with his former girlfriend's claims that he tried to control her through an abusive relationship...

"That goes both ways," he said. "I ain't the only one.  I ain't the only one that was abusive, man.   I'm used to her beating on me. She's saying that I beat on her, but that's not true."

Instead of turning himself in at the Fayette County Jail, where he was released from, Smith surrendered to authorities in Tipton County.   Judge Whitaker, Smith said, was right to release him and other misdemeanor suspects to relieve jail overcrowding.

Smith said the portion of the jail where he was housed was crowded.  "We was sleeping on the floor," he said. "Some people didn't have any blankets."

Smith said he spent 10 days in jail after being arrested for driving without a license.  He claimed he had settled that case back in June, and shouldn't have been locked up in the first place.

When asked how he thought things would turn out, Smith said, "Well, on my behalf, I know it's going to be ugly.  I know it's going to be ugly on my behalf.


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