Mamie Street capital murder defendants appear in court

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Three men accused of capital murder in the March 2016 death of a Texarkana father appeared before a Bowie County judge Tuesday and Wednesday.

Anthony Wilson, 20, was in court Tuesday before 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart with Bowie County Chief Public Defender Rick Shumaker. Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp said a conflict for the public defender’s office which just became known led Lockhart to remove the public defender’s office from the case and appoint Texarkana lawyer Derric McFarland to represent Wilson.

Wilson, Jailon Gamble, 20, and Jaquelle Rogers, 22, are facing capital murder charges in the death of Casey Smith, 28. Smith was shot multiple times March 29, 2016, as he waited for his children’s school bus, according to a probable cause affidavit. Marshall Vallejos, 23, who was also charged in Smith’s murder, pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree murder and accepted a sentence of life with parole possible as part of a plea arrangement that allowed him to avoid a potential sentence of life without parole.

Wilson’s case was set for jury selection this month but the assignment to his case of a new lawyer means a delay. The specifics regarding the conflict that arose for the public defender’s office was not discussed on the record. Crisp said the state wants to take Wilson’s case to a jury first.

Gamble appeared before Lockhart with Texarkana lawyer Joe Tyler on Wednesday. Crisp said a motion filed by Shumaker before he was dropped from Wilson’s case has led the state to ask Gamble and Rogers to agree to submit samples of their DNA for testing. Crisp said Gamble has agreed to the testing and Rogers’ lawyer, Bart Craytor of Texarkana, said at Rogers’ hearing Wednesday that his client will submit to the testing as well.

The four men allegedly intended to rob Smith. While one man waited in a car a short distance away, the other three approached Smith. Because the state is not seeking the death penalty, Wilson, Rogers and Gamble face life without parole if convicted of capital murder. If convicted of the lesser offense of first-degree murder, the men face five to 99 years or life in prison with parole possible after 30 years.

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