Murder Suspect's Sister Speaks Out

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Early Thursday morning authorities were called to a house in the Halsell community of Choctaw County. Once at the scene authorities found 67-year old Jimmy Tanks dead and the three men who were allegedly trying to repossess his car still at the scene.

For Tank's death, Kenneth Smith has been charged with murder. Smith's sister calls Tanks death a tragedy, but says her brother doesn't deserve to be charged with murder.

"We all hate that things have happened the way they have, but my brother would never hurt anyone he must have felt threatened himself to hurt someone," said Pattie Bousson-Smith's sister.

Choctaw County Sheriff James Lovett says Smith should have gone through his department before attempting to seize the vehicle. This is something Smith's sister disputes.

"From what I can understand- no repo men do not have to go through a sheriff's dept. Maybe they would rather they do that," said Bousson.

According to Sheriff Lovett, Smith is out of jail on a 75-thousand dollar bond.

Newscenter Eleven will continue following this story.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by hurt Location: alabama on Mar 2, 2009 at 01:11 AM
    Becky I understand that you are upset by the fact that your brother may be loosing his freedom. But you also need to understand that you can see and talk to your brother(dad, grandfather,son,etc.). That is one thing the Tanks family has not been able to do since June, so oh no don't compare the situations because you can't. I am not impling that anyone else need to loose their life for this because that is not going to help the situation. But your brother needs to serve time for what has happened. And you can at least still visit him, talk to him. That is something that Mr. Tanks sisters, brothers, children, grandchildren can't do, now really take a moment and think about it.
  • by BECKY (SISTER OF KENNETH) Location: FYFFE, AL on Feb 27, 2009 at 11:28 AM
    Yesterday the Grand Jury indicted my brother for murder. However this does not mean he will be charged with anything as I understand it take a jury to decide whether on not he is guilty. He is also a husband, dad, grandfather, son and my brother. He is living every day with this horrible incident, and until you have walked in those shoes, you can't imagine the pain and sorrow he carries around every day, he has been punished enough. He is a good man, he has suffered each day and night. From our whole family to the Tanks family. GOD BLESS YOU ALL. We can't take back what happened that terrible night in June. I honestly believe that faith will get us ALL through this as you are in our prayers.
  • by hurt Location: alabama on Feb 23, 2009 at 11:43 PM
    I cannot believe how everyone can just talk about this as a casual thing. Mr. Tanks has lost his life and his family is truly suffering. I hope and pray those of you with you strictly business comments never have to deal with a lose like this. It is easy to comment when you are not in those shoes. This man was a husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and so on. Look at the real picture of this, how can some of you be so rude. Remember you reap what you sow. Many of you are definetly not sowing compassion.
  • by Anonymous Location: Choctaw on Jul 19, 2008 at 06:44 PM
    I know that Mr. Tanks had two warnings before they came out ot get his vehicle. He should have called and made arrangements with the lender unstead of not trying. And under law we have a right to protect ourselves, so did Mr. Smith. Christian people are not bad just because they carry a gun. They have jobs to do and have to do them. And policeman that kill people on duty, are they bad too? No they are protecting themselves. Stop judging you don't know the whole story. Things happen and there is a purpose in all of it! Things will work out the way they are suppose to.
  • by Anonymous Location: Alabama on Jul 16, 2008 at 07:43 PM
    First of all to set the record straight, Jimmy was not behind on his payments. I feel that Mr. Smith was entirely wrong in shooting and killing Mr. Tanks. He could have fired a warning shot in the air. Legally, police department should have been contacted to escort the repo men. As a Pastor, the Bible clearly states: THY SHALT NOT KILL.
  • by Martha Location: Bibb Co on Jul 4, 2008 at 06:33 PM
    It is my opinion that Mr. Tanks knew that he was behind on his payments on the car. Knowing that, he would not have assumed that Mr. Smith was stealing his car. I think it is time we make the penalty a stronger for these bill dodgers. Rarely can the car companies get as much out of the vehicle as is still owed on it. It is so sad that someone had to die in this manner, but it is also sad that we need "repo men" in the first place. If persons would simply pay their debts we would not need this service. If someone comes out shooting before they know the situation, they are opening themselves up for whatever happens. This was not a murder and should not be treated as such. All that would have been required is for Mr. Tanks to come out and discuss the situation with Mr. Smith.
  • by Teresa Location: meridian on Jun 30, 2008 at 07:54 PM
    Well first of all, the car didn't belong to that guy, he was doing some work on it. If he assume a burgarly was in process he reacted out of protection. Second, I have known individuals to have their vehicle repo in MS and AL and the process begin with local police department to avoid car theft being reported. Once a person's vehicle has being repo there first instinct is to call the police and there they will have it on file. It has happen to me and others I know. I have even seen an officer escort towers to pick up vehicles. So I think he should have been charged because he looked that vehicle not knowing if he had the right one because it wasn't at the said address. And for the record, vehicles are repo in the day time as well.
  • by Kimberly Location: Meridian on Jun 30, 2008 at 07:40 PM
    Every murderer is kinown "personally" to someone. The bottom line is Mr. Smith snuck unto a man's private property in the middle of the night. We all have the right to defend ourself, especially when we feel threatened or feel our family is in danger. Was it an accident? Maybe. There has to be a better way to handle your business. Mr. Tanks paid with his life. Why should Mr. Smith not be held accountable? I wonder if the shoe were on the other foot, if Mr. Tanks came out shooting and killed Mr. Smith, how would his family feel? Surely, they would want justice served. That's what the Tanks family want, justice served.
  • by Kevin Location: Montgomery on Jun 30, 2008 at 03:08 PM
    My family has been in law enforcement for years. There is not a law that reqires repossessions to go through the police, not yet. At least not in Alabama. If people believe that it needs to be changed then do something about it. From what I can understand this was a self defense case and Mr. Smith's sister is correct in saying he was most likely protecting himself. The only people that know the entire story are the persons involved and the court system will take care of it. I do not believe that Mr. Smith needs to be charged with murder. Mr Smith was working for a company and he was only doing the job he was sent to do. Most repossessions are done at night becuase that is when people are not running from the bills they owe. This is a terrible situation for both sides.
  • by Denise Location: Newton on Jun 30, 2008 at 09:27 AM
    I do not know either of the men personally. I believe that 2:00 AM is not an appropriate time to handle official, legitamate business unless you are the police or medical personnel. Perhaps, Mr. Smith was authorized to handle things exactly as he did. However, did he return to his vehicle to get his gun when Mr. Tanks came out? Did he have the gun on him when he got out of his vehicle? Does he normally complete repossessions in the middle the night? I believe that this tradegy came as a direct result of Mr. Smith's poor decision making. We all know that our initial response if we heard noise that time of morning would be that theives are outside/someone is trying to break in. Our instinct would be to get something to defend our family.I believe that Mr. Tanks' family deserve justice for this senseless loss of life. Even if Mr. Smith didn't need the sheriff department's authorization, he could have waited until 6am better yet, he could have gone to the door and identified himself.
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