UPDATE: Smith released from jail following arrest
The Daily News Journal • March 4, 2009
A Murfreesboro man was released from jail just hours after his arrest in connection with his wife's December 2007 disappearance, according to personnel at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.
Palmer Smith was taken into custody on charges of fabricating evidence and four counts of filing a false report at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, a Murfreesboro Police spokesman said.
But less than four hours after Smith was taken into custody — he was released.
A booking officer at the Rutherford County jail said the 73-year-old was released at 8:50 p.m. Tuesday, after posting 10 percent of his $100,000 bond. He declined to talk to detectives who wished to speak with him after charges were filed, according to police.
Charges against Smith stem from evidence obtained from and statements made by him to police in the days following his wife's disappearance, and were the result of indictments returned by a Rutherford County grand jury, according to court documents.
But those documents, which are now on file at the Rutherford County Judicial Building, offer little more details as to what police are actually accusing him of.
The documents state that he presented a piece of evidence, “a vehicle,” to detectives in an attempt to affect the outcome of the investigation.
Two counts accuse Palmer Smith of lying to Murfreesboro Police Officer Bobby Edwards about incidents that didn’t occur on the day the husband reported his wife missing. Two more counts accuse him of lying to MPD Maj. Jim Gage about a “material fact.”
Smith's wife, Marcie, has been missing since Dec. 6, 2007.
Palmer Smith was the last person to see the 69-year-old insulin-dependent diabetic before she went missing and Palmer was the one who reported her missing to police when she didn't return home from an afternoon shopping trip.
Since Marcie Smith’s disappearance, the case has taken many twists and turns.
A Murfreesboro hair stylist complained to police after Palmer Smith allegedly began to harass her in March 2008.
The woman, Teresa Goodwin, told police that Smith introduced himself as the husband of the missing Murfreesboro woman. She said he then began calling her repeatedly at home and at work.
The woman also told police she "saw the video of the man dropping (Marcie's SUV) off at Wal-Mart and she believes it was Palmer Smith," a police report states.
The statement was a reference to a video obtained by MPD investigators from Wal-Mart on South Rutherford Boulevard that shows someone retrieving a bicycle from the back of Marcie Smith's SUV on the day she went missing and then pedaling towards Applebee’s restaurant.
Less than a week after Smith’s disappearance, a cellular phone belonging to the her was recovered on Barfield-Crescent Road near Barfield Baptist Church.
The area was not between the Smiths' Village Green Circle Home and the Wal-Mart where her vehicle was located.
MPD investigators and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents searched a secluded area outside of Ripley in West Tennessee after being tipped off about the possible location of Marcie Smith's body Dec. 6, 2008, the one-year anniversary of her disappearance.
The search came after Palmer Smith told his attorney, John Norton of Shelbyville, about a strange envelope he received in the mail. Smith took the unopened letter to Norton where they discovered the map inside, before turning it over to police.
The origins of the map remain unclear and police have said the search was unsuccessful.
A DNJ reporter sought comment from Norton Wednesday, but, according to his secretary, he was unavailable.