Mamie Street murder defendants plead innocent to capital murder Wednesday

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Four men accused of killing a man during a March robbery in Texarkana, Texas, entered not guilty pleas Wednesday at hearings before a Bowie County judge.

The men are accused of shooting 28-year-old Casey Smith during a robbery March 29. Smith was allegedly waiting in front of a house in the 2400 block of Mamie Street for his children’s school bus when he was approached by three of the men. The fourth allegedly was waiting behind the wheel of a get-away car.

Marshall Vallejos, 22, appeared with Texarkana attorney Butch Dunbar before 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart in a Bi-State Justice Center courtroom Wednesday morning. Lockhart appointed Dunbar to represent Vallejos at a prior court appearance.

Jailon Montre Gamble, 20, appeared with Texarkana lawyer Joe Tyler. Anthony Wilson Jr., 19, appeared with Bowie County Chief Public Defender Rick Shumaker. Lockhart appointed lawyers for those three defendants at earlier hearings. Texarkana lawyer Randle Smolarz was appointed Wednesday to represent Jaquelle Rogers, 21.

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Rogers told the court his family is hoping to hire a Little Rock, Ark., lawyer to represent him. Lockhart said he wants to make sure Rogers is represented now that his case has been formally indicted by a Bowie County grand jury.

Last month, a Bowie County grand jury issued identical indictments for all four men which include a charge of capital murder and a charge of felony first degree murder.

The men allegedly wanted to rob Smith because they thought he might be in possession of illicit drugs, according to a probable cause affidavit. When Smith grabbed for the gun Vallejos was holding, Vallejos allegedly shot him in the face.

Vallejos was taken into custody the following day after staff at a local hospital alerted police to a man seeking treatment for a gunshot wound to the knee.

Capital murder is punishable by death or life without parole. First degree murder is punishable by five to 99 years or life in prison.

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