HomeCrime2018 hookah lounge shooting defendant reaches plea deal for time served
2018 hookah lounge shooting defendant reaches plea deal for time served
July 28, 2021
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Jonathan Corey Smith, also known as “Jock Smooth,” was arrested in 2018 as a suspect in a shooting at Heart of the City Hookah Lounge. Smith, a concert promoter, had collaborated with Andy Maharaj of Orlando in organizing a concert on the night of November 4, 2018, during the UF Homecoming weekend. According to the sworn complaint, the two argued over the management of the money, and Smith “fired numerous shots from a handgun” at Maharaj. Smith allegedly continued to shoot Maharaj after he was on the ground.
The sworn complaint says that Smith has a federal felony conviction for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine in 1999, served federal prison time, and violated supervised release in 2004. He also “has a host of violent arrests,” including Attempted First Degree Murder in 1995, in which he was convicted of Aggravated Assault with adjudication withheld. He was also arrested for Attempted Murder in 1998, for Robbery in 2008, and for drug charges in 2014. Most of his charges are listed as “No info – insufficient evidence.”
He was arrested on January 3, 2019, and held with bail of $1.5 million. Former Gainesville City Commissioner Gigi Simmons and Gainesville Police Chief Tony Jones are on the list of witnesses in the case. According to Simmons’ deposition, she got involved because a pastor asked her for assistance in getting a permit for the event. According to Jones’ deposition, he got involved because one of his officers had denied the permit, then Commissioner Simmons contacted him. After meeting with the promoters and Simmons, Jones decided to personally approve the permit.
On December 15, 2020, Smith asked for a bond reduction and release with an ankle monitor, based on the fact that every witness that had been deposed had said that they had never seen him with a gun at the event and that, in fact, it was the victim (“alleged victim”) who had a gun visible during the argument. Also, none of the witnesses who were at the event with Maharaj, including Maharaj himself, showed up for multiple scheduled depositions. Bond was reduced to $75,000, and Smith was released with an ankle monitor. The judge authorized the removal of the ankle monitor in May of 2021.
The case is now scheduled for a hearing on August 2, when Smith is expected to be sentenced to time served as a result of an agreement with the State for a time-served plea. Judge William Davis is expected to consider the deal on that date.
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