A recording of a phone conversation recorded a short time before Pine Bluff Police Lt. Denise Richardson shot her boyfriend Aug. 15 indicated that the man, Percy Smith, threatened Richardson several times.

A recording of a phone conversation recorded a short time before Pine Bluff Police Lt. Denise Richardson shot her boyfriend Aug. 15 indicated that the man, Percy Smith, threatened Richardson several times.


"Im’a do something to you," Smith said in the conversation, which Richardson recorded on her iPad. "OK. Get Ready. You gone learn today. You say you ready. We gone see if you ready."


Richardson, 43, shot Percy Smith, 49, after she said Smith physically attacked her at her home.


Citing the tape recording and Richardson’s statements to the Arkansas State Police, Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter ruled that Richardson was justified in shooting Smith and no criminal charges would be filed in the case.


"I specifically find that Lt. Richardson was reasonable in believing that Mr. Smith was about to use deadly physical force on her or about to commit a felony involving force or violence against her," Hunter said in a letter to State Police Special Agent Morris Knight, who investigated the shooting instead of PBPD at Hunter’s request.


Richardson, who has been with the police department for 20 years and is assigned to the detective division, was placed on administrative leave with pay after the shooting, pending an investigation into whether her action was within department policy.


Police Chief Jeff Hubanks said Richardson has since returned to work and no disciplinary action was taken.


According to the investigative report, which The Commercial obtained by filing a Freedom of Information Act request, Richardson and Smith had been dating for about two years. Included in the FOI materials provided were copies of the audio recordings, interviews with the parties involved and crime scene photos and drawings.


When Richardson was interviewed in the early morning hours of Aug. 15, she said Smith had called her while she was at work, "just talking, threatening and cursing."


She said she went home after getting off work and let her dog out. She said she went outside with the dog until she saw headlights in her driveway "and I thought it was probably him at that time of the morning.


"I had pushed the door up and he came in behind me and when he came in, he was just in a rage," Richardson said during the interview. "His fists were balled up, his face was red, he was sweating, his nostrils were flared out, he was just in a rage."


She said she tried to get to her phone, which was on the couch, intending to call the police when Smith grabbed the phone and threw it.


"He said ‘I don’t give a (expletive) who you call,’" Richardson quoted Smith as saying. "I don’t care about you calling the police. I don’t give a (expletive) about the police.’"


"He kept saying ‘I ain’t scared of no (expletive) police. I ain’t scared of you. Police can’t make me do (expletive). I do what I want."


Richardson told the investigators that "I thought he was going to kill me. I didn’t think I would make it out of the house. I still had my gun on. He grabbed my face. Well, he jumped on me. I had sat on the couch and he jumped onto the couch with me, on my lap. He had something in one of his hands. I didn’t know what it was. It was black. He took his other hand and grabbed my face open-handed. He pushed my face into the couch and was just bearing all his weight down on me. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t breathe. He knows I always have a gun. He knows that. I know that he always wears a pistol and I really thought he was going to kill me because he knew I had a gun.


"I couldn’t get him off of me," Richardson said during the interview. "I couldn’t say anything. He just kept saying, ‘(expletive) you, you (expletive)’ and ‘I ain’t scared of no police’ and I couldn’t get him off of me. I’m left handed. I just grabbed my pistol and I came up and I fired one shot. He had a black T-shirt on and he had a white T-shirt under it, and I could see pieces of the white T-shirt just come kinda toward my face. He backed off and he said ‘oh (expletive), you shot me, you shot me.’"


After the shooting, Smith drove himself to Jefferson Regional Medical Center, where he was interviewed by state police investigators on Aug. 19.


According to his statement to the investigators, the whole incident started when Richardson objected to Smith’s wife, Donna, accompanying the two of them to what Smith called a "homecoming.


"I said, ‘if she don’t go, then I don’t go,’" Smith said during the interview. "That ain’t right. It’s just not right if she don’t go then for me to go."


Smith said he talked to Richardson about letting Donna Smith go with them, then decided to go to Richardson’s house and talk to her about it.


"’I knew you wasn’t going to let this die,’" Smith quoted Richardson as saying. "’You were gonna come over here and talk about this some more.’"


"I said, ‘well you know that ain’t right. I said that’s not right for you not to offer for Donna to go whether she want to or not. You know that’s not right. You go to every event we do.’"


Smith continued by saying that "I still had nowhere in my mind thinking she was mad enough to draw no pistol. She then she was like, ‘Percy just go and get out of my house.’ Like she just broke an attitude right quick and got mad. She reached in her back pocket and walked to the couch and sat on the couch and went to dialing a number."


Smith confirmed in his statement that he snatched the phone from Richardson’s hand and said Richardson said something else.


"I don’t know what she said," he said. "I can’t remember but then I could hear the boom and that’s all I could remember. I said, ‘Denise, you done shot me.’ I said, ‘baby you done shot me.’"


He said he ran out the door and called his wife on his phone "and I told her ‘Denise done shot me. I went over there to talk about you going up there. She done shot me. I’m headed to the hospital.’


"I made it to the hospital and went inside and told them I had been shot by my girlfriend," Smith said during the interview. "And that’s how it was. We pretty much had an open relationship so they knew about each other. That’s just the way we’re living."