LANSING (WWJ/AP) – From behind bars, Detroit Sen. Virgil Smith has agreed to resign after beginning a 10-month sentence in the Wayne County Jail.

The resignation came by way of a statement in a letter from Virgil Smith’s attorney that simply read: “I resign as Senator of the 4th District.”

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Amber McCann, a spokeswoman for Republican Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, confirmed Smith’s resignation on Thursday, saying the letter was submitted to the Secretary of the Senate’s office.

McCann says Meekhof would have begun the expulsion process if Smith had not resigned voluntarily, but says the Democrat had previously informed Meekhof of his intent to resign.

Smith, who earned nearly $72,000 a year as a state senator, was not legally obligated to resign despite incarceration; although the Michigan Constitution states lawmakers are ineligible for office if convicted of a felony that breaches the “public trust.”

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Smith, 36, was arrested last Spring at his Detroit home after allegedly assaulting his ex-wife, Anistia Thomas, and shooting up her parked Mercedes-Benz. He’s accused of firing as many as ten shots the car in what authorities said was a domestic dispute, also involving a second woman, early last Mother’s Day morning.

Smith pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property in a deal with prosecutors, and charges of domestic violence and assault were dropped.

McCann said Smith’s resignation is effective April 12, which means he’ll still collect one state pay check while jailed.

Under a judge’s order, Smith will not be eligible for early release.

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