Murder defendant back in custody


A Bowie County murder defendant who was released on a personal recognizance bond Friday is back in custody.

Marquell Deonte Smith, 21, was ordered by 202nd District Judge Leon Pesek, Jr., at Friday’s hearing to wear a GPS leg monitor and to remain in his father’s home unless attending a court hearing.

Smith was tracked via his GPS monitor walking to a Texarkana, Texas neighborhood Monday afternoon without official permission, according to court staff.

Smith spent several hours in an area near the scene where the alleged victim’s body was discovered in March 2015 and officials believe Smith may have spent time smoking marijuana during his unapproved absence from his father’s house.

Smith, Brandon Brown, 22, and Shamari Newton, 25, are facing first degree murder charges in the February 23, 2015 shooting death of Christopher Guilbeau, 24.

Smith and Brown were arrested March 5, 2015 by police in Tulsa, Okla., while driving Guilbeau’s pickup. Newton was arrested several months later in Tacoma, Wash. Brown and Newton remain free on bond.

Pesek released the three defendants on personal bonds Friday following an order from the 6th District Court of Appeals in Texarkana. The higher court ruled that because the state was not ready for trial in Smith’s and Brown’s cases within 90 days of their arrests, they had to be set free under state law.

Now that Smith has violated the terms of his personal bond, Pesek has reinstated the original $1 million bond set in the case. Smith is being held in the Bowie County jail. His case is set for jury selection in October while Brown’s is set for November and Newton’s for December.

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