State appeals court drops case involving lawmaker's resignation

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan appeals court says it’s too late to get involved in the case of a former state lawmaker who resigned his seat after shooting at his ex-wife’s Mercedes-Benz car.

Prosecutors appealed after a Wayne County judge rejected part of the plea deal requiring Virgil Smith to quit the Senate. The appeals court says the Detroit Democrat voluntarily resigned so the appeal is moot.

Smith was released from jail in December after serving 10 months for malicious destruction of property.

The appeals court says Judge Lawrence Talon abused his authority in not allowing prosecutors to withdraw the plea deal. But in a 3-0 decision Tuesday, the court said reopening the case now would be “fundamentally unfair” because Smith is out of office and fulfilling the terms of his sentence.

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