Pastor Believed to Be Behind Break-in

By: Justin Ware Email
By: Justin Ware Email

After threatening to kill the woman and himself, prosecutor's say they want to keep 42-year-old former pastor Douglas Smyth behind bars until his next court appearance.

"The victim's family is absolutely terrified and we are concerned about the defendant as well, in terms of his mental health status," said Mike Verveer, Dane county assistant district attorney.

According to the criminal complaint, Smyth broke into a his ex-girlfriend's house on Monday night and threatened to either kill her or himself if she would not get back together with him.

Assistant district attorney Mike Verveer says Smyth not only threatened his victim, but wrote letters to the victim's children, explaining what he planned on doing to their mother.

Despite the break in, Smyth's attorney argued for his client's supervised release from jail.

Noting that Smyth does not have a prior criminal history and was only acting on extreme circumstances.

"It was an isolated incident," said David Mandell, Smyth's attorney, "he's been going through a difficult break up and it was the alcohol that triggered this very serious incident."

Within the past year, Smyth had been a pastor at this Luthern church in Keyeser.

A tiny town a few miles northeast of Deforest.

Church officials would not comment on the case, other than to say that Smyth no longer works there.

Smyth is charged with felony false imprisonment and burglary and a misdemeanor for disorderly conduct.

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