Martin City man faces jail for threatening CPS

Daily Inter Lake | August 26, 2020 4:10 PM

A Martin City man pleaded guilty Thursday in Flathead County District Court to threatening the lives of Child Protective Services workers.

Tyler Scott Smith, 31, of Martin City, pleaded guilty to threats or improper influence in official matters. Flathead District Court Judge Heidi Ulbricht set sentencing for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1.

Smith appeared with his public defender Sean Hinchey. He admitted to losing his temper when he made the threatening phone calls.

“Between Helena and here I made some calls to CPS workers, initially to make contact, but it got to me after they had investigated me three times in eight months,” Smith said.

The County Attorney’s office said it would recommend a five-year sentence to the Montana Department of Corrections while Hinchey said he would argue for a suspended sentence.

The case began June 10 when a CPS employee called the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office to report she and other employees had received threatening voicemail messages from a man identified as Smith, according to court documents.

On June 13, Smith was arrested for partner/family member assault and Child Protective Services removed his children.

The CPS employee said she and others were working on a case involving Smith’s two minor children. On June 3, CPS workers went to his home to remove the children, but no one was home.

The CPS employee said she and a coworker had received constant threatening voicemail messages, phone calls and text messages from Smith.

A deputy investigating the case listened to several voicemail messages in which Smith allegedly said he had AR-15 style rifles, body armor, drum magazines and shotguns ready. In another message to one of the workers, Smith allegedly said “I will kill you over my [profanity] kids. You know what that means? I will shoot you in your [profanity] face before you get my [profanity)] children. Do you understand that?”

According to the charging document, Smith continued to make threats during the trip to the Flathead County Detention Center and after arriving. He allegedly said he was proficient at building AR-15 style rifles and making them automatic. He also made references to building a gun and killing the CPS worker involved.

Smith remains in the Flathead County Detention Center on $201,500 bail.