Marion County Prosecuting Attorney David Clayton filed assault and tampering charges today against James L. Smith for threatening the life of a Family Services Investigator who has been employed with the agency for 8 years.

The Marion County Prosecuting Attorney said he pursue a case against a Hannibal man who allegedly threatened the life of a Missouri Division of Family Services employee.

Marion County Prosecuting Attorney David Clayton filed assault and tampering charges today against James L. Smith for threatening the life of a Family Services Investigator who has been employed with the agency for 8 years. The Division of Family Services was called to the home of Smith for allegations of abuse and neglect of a child.

On Wednesday, April 5, a DFS employee went to Smith's home on Dowling St. around 4:45 p.m. to follow-up on a Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline call.

According to a witness statement, Smith walked into the home at 4:55 p.m. As the investigator left without speaking to Smith, Smith allegedly began asking what kind of car the DFS drove. He allegedly threatened to look up where the employee lived and told her he would “[expletive] kill me,” according to a probable cause statement.

“Even though the law only allowed misdemeanor charges to be filed, I’m treating this like a felony case,” Clayton said. “This is a threat of serious harm against a person employed to protect the at-risk children of our community. It will not be tolerated. The message needs to be loud and clear that if you threaten to harm persons who protect our children, you’ll be prosecuted.”

Smith is being held in the Marion County Jail on a $10,000 cash-only bond.