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McHenry County dad accused of shooting kids with pellet gun
By Charles Keeshan | Daily Herald Staff

Thad Smith


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Published: 6/25/2008 2:43 PM | Updated: 6/25/2008 7:18 PM

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Thad J. Smith was arrested Monday night on charges he shot his three children several times with an air-powered pellet gun in what he later described to police as "good fun."

Spending the night in the McHenry County jail Monday night probably wasn't much fun for the Marengo man who now faces two counts of domestic battery.

Smith, 33, now faces up to a year in jail and fines up to $2,500 on the misdemeanor charges if he's convicted. A call to him for comment was not immediately returned.

Marengo police arrested Smith Monday night after his ex-wife reported that the couple's children -- a 10-year-old girl and twin 9-year-old boys -- returned home from a visit with their father sporting numerous welts on their bodies, the police said.

When questioned, Smith admitted shooting the children with small, plastic pellets fired from an air-powered gun, Deputy Police Chief Joseph Hallman said.

"He said the children were willing participants," Hallman said. "I don't know if it was some kind of a game with them or what he was doing."

If it was a game, it was completely one-sided. The children, Hallman said, told police they never fired a shot back at their dad.

"It was poor judgment on the father's behalf," he said.

Smith posted a $150 bond Tuesday morning and is free pending a July 1 court date before McHenry County Judge Gordon Graham.