Murder trial begins for defendant in 2015 shooting

New Boston, Texas–A jury of ten women and two men is scheduled to hear opening statements and testimony at the Bowie County courthouse Tuesday in the first day of  trial for one of three defendants accused of killing a Texarkana man in 2015.
Marquell Deonte Smith, 22, is one of three defendants facing charges in the February 2015 death of Christopher Guilbeau, 24. Smith and co-defendant Brandon Brown, 23, were arrested March 5 driving Guilbeau’s pickup in Tulsa, Okla., according to a probable cause affidavit. The day before, members of Guilbeau’s family reported him missing to police in Texarkana, Ark. Arkansas-side police flagged the truck in a national database as stolen and wanted in connection with a missing person case.
Guilbeau was found dead in a Texarkana, Texas, alley March 6, 2015. Investigators believe he was killed days earlier, around Feb. 23, 2015, according to court records. Shamari Newton, 25, who was reportedly dating Smith at the time of the murder, was arrested in Tacoma, Washington, several months after the men were picked up in Oklahoma. Newton has been subpoenaed to testify at Smith’s trial.
Brown is expected to go to trial later this year. Smith faces five to 99 years or life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder in Guilbeau’s death. Smith is represented by Texarkana lawyer Bruce Condit. First Assistant District Attorney Michael Shepherd and Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter are prosecuting and 202nd District Judge John Tidwell is presiding.
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