South Bend firefighter on unpaid leave, to go to trial in September after he allegedly threatened his wife with an ax

A South Bend firefighter was placed on unpaid administrative leave Wednesday, Sept. 16, while he awaits trial after he was accused of threatening his estranged wife with an ax.

Fronse Smith was charged in June with one count of intimidation, a level 6 felony that calls for a sentence of up to 2 ½ years in prison, according to online court records.

He had been on paid leave since Aug. 20, but the South Bend Board of Public Safety voted to move him to unpaid leave on Wednesday, according to the South Bend Tribune.

Smith is accused of threatening to wait at the home of his estranged wife and “split her chest open with an ax” after she wasn’t home when he arrived to drop off their 4-year-old son on May 30, the Tribune reported. When police arrived on scene, the Tribune reports that Smith made an angry expression and yelled a threat at his wife.

His trial is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 24.

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