A 52 year old registered sex offender has been charged by Smithville Police with three counts of felony stalking for allegedly using a pre-paid cell phone to make sexually explicit calls from his home in Paris, Tennessee to female store clerks in Smithville.
Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE that Walter Smouthers, a former resident of Smithville, was arrested Monday by Detective Brandon Donnell and Corporal Travis Bryant at Smouthers' home in Paris. Smouthers is under a $30,000 bond and he will be in court on August 15. Further charges are pending against him.
Police believe Smouthers used the cell phone he purchased at a Walmart to make hundreds of sexually explicit calls over the past year to female clerks at six Smithville businesses.
According to Detective Donnell, Smouthers was arrested in 2007 for making similar types of phone calls to some of the same victims as in the latest cases. "It started happening again over the past year," said Detective Donnell. "We got enough evidence to obtain a search warrant for the phone number and records and it pinged at an address in Paris, Tennessee. Through an investigation, we found that Smouthers, who lives in Paris Tennessee and is a registered sex offender, made the calls. After an investigation, it was determined a prepaid phone from Wal-mart was used to place the calls," said Detective Donnell.
Smouthers placed his last call only minutes before police arrived to arrest him. "Twenty minutes before he was picked up and arrested, he had placed another call to Smithville," said Detective Donnell.
"We believe this phone was used just for this purpose. He didn't report having the phone and that would be a violation of the sex offender rules he is under in Paris, Tennessee," said Detective Donnell.
Police found Smouthers' cell phone hidden under a dresser in his Paris, Tennessee home.
The case was investigated by Detective Donnell and Corporal Bryant.