May 5—A Carthage man accused of making his girlfriend pray that he would not cut her with the machete he was waving about has pleaded guilty to a felony weapon count.
Brandon K. Smith, 37, pleaded guilty Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court to a count of unlawful use of a weapon in a plea agreement dismissing a related felony count of third-degree domestic assault. Smith entered an open plea to the Class E felony offense, which carries up to four years in prison.
Circuit Judge Gayle Crane ordered a sentencing assessment of the defendant and set his sentencing hearing for June 21.
The charges stemmed from an incident April 22, 2020, when Smith became upset with his girlfriend and accused her of letting into their home people he suspected of having stolen a dagger of his.
The girlfriend later told police that Smith sleeps with knives in his bed and that she had moved them onto the floor the previous night after he fell asleep. When he became upset with her about the dagger he thought was missing, she shut herself in the bedroom out of fear of him and slid the dagger under the door so he could see it was not missing, she told police.
But that did not stop him from beating on the door until she opened it and then pinning her against the door while waving a machete about and making her pray that he would not cut her with it, she told police.
Later, in a calmer moment, he suggested they go get something to drink at a store, and she used the opportunity to inform a clerk of her situation and have police summoned.