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Anger management counselor faces stalking charges
May 28, 2004 12:00 am
Wilson County's court-sanctioned anger management counselor has been charged in a warrant with stalking his business partner, the widow of a one-time judicial commissioner.
In the warrant, Csilla Smith of Lebanon claims she has been repeatedly threatened and harassed by Willie Lovejoy, 48, also of Lebanon, since he expressed "a romantic interest in her" last February.
Defendants who are deemed by a judge to need anger management counseling are often required by court order to attend classes conducted by Lovejoy. The defendants pay a fee directly to a company owned by Lovejoy and Smith – known as Lovejoy and Associates – for the sessions, which judges frequently require for those charged with offenses such as domestic violence.
According to the warrant issued May 2 by judicial commissioner Marie Jenkins, Smith claims to "fear for her safety" and is "afraid to stay in her home due to Lovejoy's actions and threats."
Lovejoy was released on his own recognizance after bond was set at $2,500.
Though an initial court date was set at the time of Lovejoy's arrest, it has been postponed after General Sessions Judge Robert Hamilton recused himself, Assistant District Attorney Jason Lawson said.
Lawson said Hamilton has asked that an out-of-town judge be brought in to hear the case.
District Attorney General Tommy Thompson said his office will not step aside, saying no conflict exists for his staff because it is judges – not prosecutors – who decide whether defendants should be sent to anger management counseling.
"We'll treat this case just as we would any other case of this nature," Thompson said.
Thompson said his still "will probably do some more investigation on the allegations" contained in the warrant before pushing to see that a trial date is set.
"We take these kinds of claims very seriously, but the warrant doesn't really give us a lot of specific information about dates, times, places, things of that nature, and those are things that will be important as we proceed with the case," he said.
According to the warrant, since February "Lovejoy has showed up uninvited at Mt. Juliet Elementary School where Smith is employed bringing flowers and gifts on several different occasions" and also entered her home without permission "and got a company checkbook."
The warrant alleges the anger management specialist "has also threatened to ruin her financially" and once "choked her and threatened her with a gun" while the two were in Davidson County.
Lovejoy is also alleged to have confronted Smith about her relationships with others during a series of telephone calls including one to her daughter, the warrant alleges.
Smith is the widow of one-time judicial commissioner Chuck Smith, who died in a car crash two years ago.
According to the warrant, Lovejoy once "called Smith while she was at a friend's house accusing her of being on a date." Smith's friend "had to speak to Lovejoy and tell him Smith was with her to get Lovejoy to stop calling."
In a separate incident, the warrant alleges, Lovejoy "confronted" Smith "about what she was doing" one day in February.
"When she replied she had a male friend over, Lovejoy asked if she had sex and then called her a 'whore' and threatened to kill her," the warrant states. "Smith believes Lovejoy had to be watching her residence to know that she had company."
The warrant alleges Lovejoy has also called Smith's daughter "and asked if he could marry her mother" as well as a man whom Smith is dating, "wanting to know what their relationship was and when did (he) last see Smith."