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Grand jury indicts Leslie Police chief

AMERICUS — The Leslie Police Chief turned himself in to authorities Wednesday after a Sumter County grand jury indicted him on Tuesday.

Chief Robert D. Smith, 48, was indicted on one count of making a false statement during an active investigation. According to the indictment, the investigation was into a laptop computer that was seized by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office from Kristin Welch after she was arrested for selling methamphetamine. The indictment says that Smith told Sumter County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Col. Eric Bryant on Feb. 27, 2014, that he did not know the identity of the person who had sent Smith a text saying she had a computer in her possession and arranged to retrieve the computer, when Smith actually knows Welch.

The grand jury no billed another charge against Smith for violation of oath by a public officer.

Smith was released on bond Wednesday.

The Leslie Mayor and City Council, in an emergency called meeting Wednesday, voted to suspend Smith with pay for two pay periods which is two weeks, according to Jessie