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Summersville man charged after high-speed chase near West Plains


A Summersville man who has been convicted of several felonies over the last 12 years now has a felony charge of resisting arrest by fleeing, creating a substantial risk of serious injury or death, after allegedly being the subject of a recent high-speed chase by law enforcement.

The chase reportedly resulted in a collision between the suspect vehicle and a patrol car and a brief foot chase, leading to the arrest of Brian K. Smith, 53.

Howell County Deputy Jared Hummel, in court documents, reported at about 6 p.m. Jan. 25 he was parked in his patrol vehicle when he saw a northbound vehicle traveling up Mitchell Road in West Plains. The vehicle reportedly had dark window tinting on the front passenger side to the extent Hummel couldn't see features of any of the occupants, even with his own vehicle headlights pointing at it.

As he turned on his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop, Hummel added, the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed down Bruce Smith Parkway, and the deputy also turned on his vehicle's sirens as the pursuit continued down Garner Boulevard.

Smtih allegedly drove in excess of 90 mph during the chase, which Hummel reported as lasting about 30 minutes, and passed other vehicles, crossing double yellow lines during foggy conditions on K Highway and CC Highway. Hummel said the collision happened at the intersection of County Road 6970 and AB Highway, about 10 miles from where the chase began, when Smith braked hard.

Smith's vehicle reportedly then failed to negotiate a turn from CC Highway onto County Road 4000, drove over a stop sign and came to rest. He then exited the vehicle and was chased about 100 yards, according to court documents.

A criminal records check showed the suspect's driver's license is suspended and he has four convictions of driving while revoked or suspended, Hummel added.

In his complaint, Howell County Assistant Prosecutor Heath Hardman described Smith as a prior and persistent offender, and court records show guilty pleas on felony convictions, all filed in Howell County.

Court records show in 2013, Smith pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree burglary and second-degree burglary filed in 2011, sentenced to three years, and the same year pleaded guilty to a 2012 charge of possession of a controlled substance, sentenced to seven years.

In 2015, Smith was charged with resisting arrest, creating a substantial risk of serious injury or death, and in 2018, entered a guilty plea, catching a three-year sentence to be executed if he did not succesfully complete probation. He also pleaded guilty that year to three 2017 charges of possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to five years.

In 2021, he pleaded guilty to a 2020 charge of second-degree drug trafficking and was sentenced to five years, court records show.

A warrant with a $10,000 cash or corporate surety bond was issued Jan. 26 and records show Smith posted bond Jan. 29. The case is being prosecuted by Hardman and Howell County Prosecutor Mike Hutchings.

Smith appeared in court Monday before Associate 37th Circuit Judge R. David Ray for arraignment and entered a plea of not guilty, court records show. He has stated his intention to hire a private attorney and is next scheduled to appear in court March 11 for a counsel status hearing.