Hahnville man charged with attempted murder is career criminal

Rap sheets shows dozens of plea deals

The Hahnville man booked with attempted second-degree murder is still awaiting trial in St. Charles Parish, but his rap sheet portrays a violent man with repeat offenses that even included neglecting his animals.

Rodney Smith, 36, of 373 Smith St., was arrested Dec. 13 in connection with stabbing John White of Boutte, with a sharp object that left him with several injuries, including a punctured lung, according to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

A witness placed Smith at White’s residence, reporting he saw him hiding there until White returned, according to court records. He states he saw Smith attack him and flee into a nearby wooded area.

Earlier on the same day, court records state Smith also had a physical altercation with his wife, Mary Smith, at her sister’s residence on Old Spanish Trail in Paradis. He is accused of striking her in the forehead as he attempted to grab her.

Soon after the incidents, he was arrested at a nearby Birdie’s convenience store.

Smith was booked on attempted second-degree murder and domestic abuse, and held on $50,000 bond.

Court records show a long rap sheet of charges ranging from numerous traffic violations (including no insurance or registration and switched plates) to felonies in which he got reduced charges and sentences in plea deals.

Smith’s earlier years included an aggravated battery charge in January of 1993. He pled not guilty to the felony and then reversed his plea in a deal that got him a suspended two-year jail sentence and probation, and evaluation for substance abuse.

By 1998, Smith was charged with distribution of cocaine, which was reduced to simple possession of cocaine. He pleaded guilty, which he later reversed in a plea deal that got him a suspended three-year jail sentence and two-year active probation. When he failed to comply with his probation, he was held in contempt of court and got 24 days in jail with credit for time served.

A year later in September, Smith was charged with possession of cocaine (felony), which was later dismissed.

Smith again was charged with possession of cocaine in March of 2001. He pleaded guilty and reversed his plea when he got another deal. This time, he got a five-year jail sentence that was suspended, probation, evaluated for substance abuse and community service that also was suspended. He again did not comply and was again held on contempt of court that he later resolved.

In March of 2002, he was charged with cruelty to animals, resisting an officer and possession of marijuana. Smith pleaded guilty, and got 28 days in jail on the cruelty and resisting charges. The drug charge was dismissed.

In March of 2003, Smith faced his second offense on marijuana possession, which was reduced to his first offense. He pleaded guilty, was sentenced to six months in jail that was suspended and given one-year inactive probation.

By December of 2005, Smith was charged with simple battery of his mother. In another deal, he pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and was fined $160 that he didn’t pay and was held in contempt of court. He served seven days in jail.

A year later, in November, he was charged with two counts of animal cruelty, both felonies, for neglecting two pit bulls. Smith pleaded not guilty and then reversed it when he got a plea deal where he got a two-year suspended jail sentence and three-year probation.

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