The criminal trespass case that launched a summer of turmoil and engulfed the Ohio State football program in controversy ended quietly Tuesday in Delaware County Municipal Court.
On May 12, Zach Smith, an assistant OSU football coach, was accused of violating a protection order involving his ex-wife, Courtney Smith. As a result, Powell police filed criminal trespass and disorderly conduct charges against Zach Smith on May 22.
On Tuesday, the Smiths, their attorneys, Delaware City Prosecutor Melissa Schiffel and Powell Police Chief Gary Vest reached a memorandum of understanding that resolved the criminal case.
The city prosecutor agreed that the criminal trespass charge would be dropped. Zach Smith pleaded guilty to a reduced minor misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct and will pay $150 in court costs.
Courtney Smith was granted a three-year civil protection order, to which Zach Smith agreed. The memorandum mentions the "need to ensure the continued protection of Ms. (Courtney) Smith."
Zach Smith, 34, was fired in July by head coach Urban Meyer over those criminal charges as well as allegations that Smith had abused Courtney Smith when they were still married.
Meyer's response to questions about Zach Smith at a Big Ten media event prompted news stories that questioned whether Meyer had ignored domestic violence complaints connected with the Smiths' troubled marriage. Those included an incident in Powell in 2015 that did not result in charges months before the couple divorced in 2016.
Ohio State University's Board of Trustees ordered an investigation, and Meyer was suspended for three games without pay for failing to properly supervise Zach Smith. Athletic Director Gene Smith also was suspended for three weeks without pay in connection with the case.
Meyer admitted that his fondness for Zach Smith — the grandson of former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce, who was Meyer's mentor — was the root of his failures in this case.
On Tuesday, all parties agreed in the memorandum that there was no violence and no threats of violence connected with the May 12 incident. On that day, Zach Smith was supposed to return one of his two children to Courtney in a public place near her Powell apartment by 8 p.m.
When Zach Smith was late, Courtney Smith advised Zach Smith not to come to her apartment, but Zach Smith drove his truck into her driveway. Zach Smith did not get out of his truck at any time or threaten her at any time, the agreement says.
"All parties acknowledge that this resolution is best so that they individually and their children are not the subject of further media attention, and that Ms. Smith continues to be protected by the civil protection order," the memorandum states.
After the court case was resolved Tuesday, Zach Smith took to social media to share his thoughts and to lash out at former ESPN and current Stadium.com reporter Brett McMurphy over his reporting on Smith's case.
"She wasn't awarded anything," Smith said in a Twitter response to McMurphy. "I requested the mutual order for life. Ask my attorney. They told me to just do a 3-year."
She wasn’t awarded anything. I REQUESTED the Mutual Order for LIFE. Ask my attorney. They told me to just do a 3-year. AND I pled “guilty” to a minor misdemeanor to avoid the cost of a trial because they wanted to end this.
You’re an absolute bafoon & give reporters a bad name. https://t.co/jzPnrRdU92
Charges dropped. Cases dismissed. Faith, patience & the truth will always prevail. pic.twitter.com/TNxkGGh4DR— Zach Smith (@CoachZachSmith) October 23, 2018
In Facebook posts late Tuesday afternoon, Zach Smith further defended himself:
"As I have stated from day one, I was falsely accused of very serious allegations that should not be taken lightly. As well as charged with breaking a law that I did not break. The media circus that ensued caused a great deal of harm to my family, my grandfather's legacy and ruined my professional career I worked extremely hard for since 2005.
"Domestic Violence is a horrific crime and as a father to two beautiful daughters whom I adore, I have been destroyed over public perception and media's spin on things that came out.
"I have made sure that we agreed to a Mutual Protection Order so that I am never in a situation to get falsely or wrongfully accused of anything ever again."