Legal Trouble for Kidney Donor?

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A man who donated a kidney to a Colorado man he met through a Web site says he's glad he helped save the man's life, and insists his own past had nothing to do with his decision.

Robert Smitty, age 32, of Chattanooga, Tennessee is wanted for failure to pay child support in that state---but it's not clear whether a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

He told a Denver television station he had no idea he was a wanted man, though he acknowledged a court date for November 9th and said he planned to attend. In another interview, he also said, "As bad as things are, I'm still glad I did what I did."

Smitty's whereabouts are unknown. Authorities in Bradley County, Tennessee and in Denver say he's not in their custody. He also did not answer calls to his mobile phone, and he has no listed home phone.

Tennessee authorities say Smitty owes his ex-wife $8,100 in child support and medical payments, and that they're seeking to extradite him.

Kidney recipient Bob Hickey, age 58, of Edwards was discharged from Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver on Sunday. Smitty was released on Saturday, three days after surgeons transplanted his kidney into Hickey.

Tennessee records show Smitty's ex-wife has not received a child support payment in nine months. The couple divorced in 1999 and have a ten-year-old daughter.


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