Incarcerated Knox man faces gun charge

A Knox County man sentenced less than two weeks ago in a public-corruption case has been charged anew, this time with illegal possession of guns.

Henry Matt Smith told his girlfriend he was going to use a machine gun to kill her ex-husband, according to a sworn statement from Todd E. Tremaine, a special agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Tremaine swore out a complaint charging Smith on Wednesday.

Smith's attorney, Gary Crabtree, said Smith plans to plead not guilty.

Smith is the brother of former Knox County Judge-Executive Raymond C. Smith, who pleaded guilty this year to a charge that during his 2002-06 term, he had false bids prepared for county projects to cover the fact that companies owned by him or family members actually did the work.

He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to repay $110,000 to the county.

Henry Matt Smith, 37, pleaded guilty to aiding the scheme and was sentenced on Oct. 17 to serve 10 months in prison.

Tremaine said in an affidavit that on Oct. 22, Smith's girlfriend, Crystal Gail Peters, 31, gave a Knox County sheriff's deputy a machine gun, silencer and ammunition. The deputy then reported the gun to federal authorities.

The deputy had gone to Peters' house because Smith had allegedly punched her in the nose and her cousin had called police, Tremaine said in the affidavit. Smith told Peters he paid $5,000 for the gun, Tremaine said.

In addition to saying he would kill her ex-husband, Smith was jealous because a man had given Peters a $3 tip while she manned a booth at the recent Daniel Boone Festival in Barbourville, and she understood Smith to say he would kill that man as well, according to the sworn statement.

Smith can't own guns because he is a convicted felon, and the machine gun was not properly registered to him, Tremaine said.

After arresting Smith, while he was being questioned, police searched Smith's house and his family's sawmill, finding ammunition, a rifle and shotgun, and an armored vest. Smith admitted he possessed the machine gun and also a .22-caliber rifle found at the sawmill, but said the vest was his brother's, Tremaine said.

Smith also said Peters warned him that her mother was cooperating with police and had told him he needed to get out of town, Tremaine said.

Peters is charged with trying to hinder police from catching Smith.