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Insufficient evidence to charge; the pastor acted in lawful self defense

On the afternoon of October 18th, 2015 at approximately 1:40 p.m., Deante Smith, 25, and his estranged wife Tykia Smith, 25, both of Detroit, arrived at the City of God Church located in the 22000 block of Grand River in Detroit. In the rear hallway of the church, he encountered and confronted the pastor of the church, Keon Allison, 36, of Dearborn Heights. The evidence from several witnesses shows that Mr. Smith forced his way into the church armed with a chunk of brick. Mr. Smith pushed the pastor's mother to the ground when he was told that he was no longer welcome at the church.

In the hallway, witnesses placed themselves between Mr. Smith and Mr. Allison. Mr. Smith was restrained from attacking Mr. Allison by two men and taken into a side room, where Mr. Smith verbally agreed to leave. Immediately after agreeing to leave, Mr. Smith rushed past the two men restraining him, towards Mr. Allison. Mr. Allison then pulled out a hand gun and fired one shot at Mr. Smith, striking him in the left shoulder, causing him to stagger. Mr. Smith continued to head toward Mr. Allison, who continued to fire his weapon. Mr. Smith was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
Shortly after the shooting, Mr. Allison cooperated with the Detroit Police investigating the fatal shooting and made a statement at police headquarters. He stated that he observed Mr. Smith grab his mother and throw her to the ground, to seeing a brick in his right hand, and to being in fear that he might have additional weapons.

The evidence in this matter shows that the October 18, 2015 shooting was the culmination of a pattern of behavior engaged in by Mr. Smith, beginning in early September 2015. The evidence shows that Mr. Smith believed his wife, Tykia Smith, was involved in an extramarital affair with the pastor. Mr. Allison and Ms. Smith deny that there was any inappropriate relationship. In social media posts and messages to other church members, Mr. Smith stated his belief and made vague threats to the church and its members.

On September 16, 2015 at approximately 9:00 a.m., he appeared at Mr. Allison's home in Dearborn Heights and demanded his "tithes" back, threatening the pastor and the pastor's wife. Dearborn Heights police arrived and detained him, but he was ultimately released. On September 17, 2015 at 2:30 a.m., Mr. Smith also sent Mr. Allison a number of threatening texts, one of which prompted Mr. Allison, who was working overnight as a security guard, to contact Dearborn Heights police for a wellbeing check on his home. On September 19 and 20, 2015, Mr. Smith harassed Mr. Allison's mother by phone; she contacted the Van Buren Township police and filed a report.

On October 16, 2015, as recorded by security video, Mr. Smith arrived at Mr. Allison's day job at an auto repair shop. He is clearly visible parking and exiting his vehicle, going to his truck, removing his coat and retrieving a baseball bat. As he entered through the shop's front entrance, Mr. Allison is visible exiting the side door, entering his van and backing out of the lot. Security cameras captured Mr. Smith running from the front of the shop towards Mr. Allison's van, swinging the bat and shattering a side window. Mr. Allison can be seen backing the vehicle up to get away from Mr. Smith and crossing into traffic as Mr. Smith charged towards the front of the van. The video shows Mr. Allison driving to avoid Mr. Smith and fleeing, as Mr. Smith continued to swing at the van.

The pattern of threats and violent behavior directed at Mr. Allison by Mr. Smith in the weeks leading up to the shooting, particularly the assault with a bat two days before, as well as witnesses who corroborate much of Mr. Allison's account regarding Mr. Smith's conduct at the time of the shooting, support the decision not to charge because there is insufficient evidence to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence shows that Mr. Allison had an honest and reasonable belief that he, or some other member of the congregation, was at immediate risk of death or great bodily harm at the time he shot Mr. Smith.

"The alleged facts in this case were salacious to some because they happened in a place of worship and the person who discharged the weapon was a man of God. We closely and objectively examined the events that led to the killing of Deante Smith. The provable facts in this case showed that the actions of Keon Allison were done in lawful self defense and there will be no charges," said Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

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