Brother of East Tennessee man killed in Dr.'s failed suicide attempt speaks out

By: Rob Pratt
By: Rob Pratt

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Sevierville optometrist, Dr. Ed Smith, was supposed to report to jail next month, but instead, he wound up in the hospital after yet another failed suicide attempt.

Now, for the first time, the brother of the man he killed in Smith's first attempt, is speaking out

Even though his brother has been gone for more than a year and a half, Twain Finchum says he thinks about him all the time.

Vut when he thinks about the man convicted of killing him, he has no sympathy.

Knowing that his brother Chuck Finchum died here as a result of a previous failed suicide attempt by Dr. Ed Smith, Finchum's brother Twain was neither surpirsed nor concerned to hear that Smith tried to kill himself again this week.

" I think if that's what he wants, they should let him do it."

But it's Smith's September 2006 attempt that still leaves the Finchums asking why. Why did a depressed man who wanted to end his own life choose to do it here? Why did he miss the tree and hit the porch where Chuck Finchum was asleep on the couch with his dog?

"I think if he wanted to kill his self, he could've found some other way to do it, or another place."

Smith has only one year to serve in jail, after the jury convicted him of vehicular homicide instead of murder. Twain thinks his brother's killer should not have been given months of freedom before doing his time.

"I didn't like that. If it would have been me, they would have took me on to jail. I didn't like that, I didn't think that was right."

Twain says his brother was battling cancer when he died. Still, he hoped to enjoy many more years with him. Now he has only memories, of a brother who was also a best friend.

"He liked to tell jokes, and we rode horses together, every weekend." Finchum says, " I loved him, still love him. He was my brother."

Smith's year in jail is scheduled to begin next month in Sevier County.

Though Finchum thinks that's not enough time for taking a life, he says he's had to learn to accept the jury's verdict.


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