GREENUP COUNTY, KY (WOWK) – A man accused of shooting and injuring a police officer in Kentucky will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Johnathan Smithers, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Greenup County Circuit Court today, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 on multiple counts in the shooting of Flatwoods Police Officer Tom Robinson.

According to court records, the five counts on which Smithers was sentenced include: Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder – Police Officer with a sentence of Life Imprisonment; Possession of a Controlled Substance – 1st Degree with a sentence of three years in prison; Criminal Possession Forged Inst. – 1st Degree with a sentence of 20 years in prison; Resisting Arrest with a sentence of 12 months in prison; and Persistent Felony Offender – 2nd Degree, which court documents call a “sentence enhancer.”

Smithers is already serving another life sentence on a federal kidnapping charge for the events that led up to the shooting.

According to Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, on May 1, 2022, Smithers physically assaulted a woman whom he was in a romantic relationship with before using a firearm and threat of force to make her go to a store with him. Shier says Smithers then brandished the weapon, assaulted the woman with it and confined her in a vehicle before driving to the Flatwoods, Kentucky, area.

Court records say Smithers then forced the woman to get out of the vehicle and accompany him on foot – making her climb fences, trespass on private property and take random routes throughout the area for “several hours.” Court records say the woman escaped and hid from Smithers. She was then later found by police collapsed at a gas station.

According to Shier’s office, Smithers was seen walking out of the woods in the area where he had taken the woman, and authorities responded. At the time of the incident, Kentucky State Police said the call was for “a suspicious person.”

Officer Tom Robinson with the Flatwoods Police Department responded and made contact with Smithers. As Robinson approached, he was shot in the throat.

According to Commonwealth Attorney Melvin Leonhart, Robinson gave first responders a description of Smithers before being flown for medical treatment. Robinson recovered from his injuries and was released from the hospital later that month.

“The good Lord had His hand on Tommy that night,” said Leonhart.  “It is the only reason he is still with us today.”

Robinson and his family were present in court for today’s proceedings, according to Leonhart.

Along with the kidnapping charge and attempted murder charges in these two cases, Smithers also faces child pornography charges in a case that came about through the investigation into the first two incidents.