Jacob Smith
Jacob Smith

July 27, 2018

A Carroll man will be repaid more than $2,100 by the state now that an OWI charge against him has been dismissed because the former police officer who arrested him lacks credibility.

Earlier this month a judge nixed the October 2017 conviction of Myles Collins Johnson, 37, and set a court hearing to decide whether the evidence used to convict him — a breath test that showed he was intoxicated — should be suppressed.

Johnson has maintained that he was illegally stopped by former Carroll Police Officer Jacob Smith in June 2017 for a license plate light that Smith claimed was faulty but Johnson says worked. The test revealed his blood-alcohol concentration was .193 percent.

He previously challenged the legality of the stop but a judge sided with Smith, ruling that there was “no evidence that the officer was not truthful,” court records show.

The judge’s opinion of Smith’s truthfulness changed in light of information about his misconduct that became part of the public court record after he sued the Daily Times Herald for libel last year.

Smith was forced to resign from the department about a month after he arrested Johnson because of Smith’s sexual relationship with a high school student — a relationship he lied to Police Chief Brad Burke about, court records show.

Smith sued the Times Herald for an article it published about the circumstances that led to his resignation in Carroll and his termination from his first police job in Sumner. A judge dismissed the lawsuit in May because the article was accurate.

For Johnson’s OWI case, another evidence suppression hearing was held Thursday morning, and County Attorney John Werden, who prosecutes crimes in Carroll County, declined to present any evidence that the license plate light was faulty and requested that the case be dismissed.

“This office does not believe that Officer Smith has credibility,” he said. “The state of Iowa refuses to call Officer Smith to testify in this or in any other matter.”

District Associate Judge Joseph McCarville dismissed the case and ordered that Johnson be reimbursed the $2,159.50 he paid in fines and court costs. The incident is also expected to be expunged from his driving record.

This is the first conviction of someone who was arrested by Smith to be overturned because of the former officer’s credibility. Werden has said he is reviewing Smith’s arrests and notifying local attorneys of questionable cases.