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Ax attack charges dismissed
DARLINGTON - A Browntown woman facing up to life in prison for allegedly attacking her then-boyfriend with an ax had her charges dismissed Wednesday.

Brandy Marie Smithey, 33, was charged in 2015 with a Class A felony count of first-degree intentional homicide and related charges of aggravated battery and bail jumping after an altercation in a South Wayne residence Feb. 4, 2015.

However, at what would have been her sentencing hearing Wednesday, Green County Circuit Judge James Beer approved a motion to dismiss all of Smithey's charges after a forensic investigator determined that the alleged victim's injuries were not consistent with injuries inflicted by an ax.

"This is a day of vindication for Ms. Smithey," said her attorney Guy Taylor.

The supposed victim, Theodore A. Bauer III, 38, Mokena, Ill., claimed Smithey had commanded her dog to attack him before she struck at his arm with an ax. Bauer also claimed Smithey swung a baseball bat at his face.

But, according to the motion, a canine behavioral expert and certified forensic consultant determined that Bauer's injuries, which required hospitalization, were more consistent with those inflicted by a dog bite.

This determination is consistent with Smithey's version of events, in which she claimed Bauer forced her against a desk, which caused her dog - a pit bull mix named Rommel - to defend her by attacking Bauer.

Smithey said she then fled to her bedroom, where Bauer again manhandled her and was again attacked by Rommel. Smithey then locked herself in the bathroom with the dog.

Bauer briefly attempted to break down the bathroom door with an ax - the same ax Bauer later accused Smithey of wielding - before Smithey conceded and left the room, she claimed. Smithey also defended Rommel by intercepting a swing from a baseball bat after Bauer said he intended to kill the dog.

"If she had attacked Mr. Bauer, he would have deserved it," Taylor said, calling Bauer a liar and a coward.

The motion also stated members of Bauer's family had destroyed evidence at the crime scene by cleaning the scene before police could investigate. This, coupled with Bauer's injuries, the lack of any blood found on the blade of the ax and Bauer's history of violent behavior toward women, gave the state reason to doubt Bauer's credibility as a witness.

Smithey's charges could have resulted in a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.