Innocent plea in alleged abuse


Herald Writer

An Everett man pleaded innocent Tuesday to charges that he has abused his wife for years, leaving her battered and requiring surgery to stop bleeding on her brain.

Jay Robert Smith, 35, entered the plea during a brief hearing in Snohomish County Superior Court.

He was arrested late Monday and booked into the county jail in Everett in lieu of $150,000 cash-only bail.

He’s charged with two counts of second-degree assault, which carry a maximum punishment of up to 10 years in prison.

Based on what is known now, the allegations against Smith would appear to support harsh punishment, deputy prosecutor Paul Stern said.

"Certainly there are exceptional circumstances in this case," he said.

Smith and his wife, 32, have been married nearly six years, and he has a lengthy history of abuse, including two arrests and one conviction for beating the woman with a baseball bat at their former home on Camano Island, according to court papers.

The couple was living in Everett Sept. 15 when she was taken to an area hospital with bleeding inside her head. Surgery was required to drain the blood and release pressure on her brain.

The woman told medical workers and detectives that she’d been beaten by her husband, prosecutors allege.

Complicating the case is the woman’s abuse of alcohol, which has left her with cirrhosis of the liver and "substantial liver disease," according to court papers.

The woman told a nurse, "I drink too much so I get numb," prosecutors allege.

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