Second murder suspect back in jail

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A defendant in a Bowie County murder case is back in custody.

Brandon Eric Brown, 22, is scheduled to appear in court Monday at a hearing to address alleged violations of his pretrial release. Officials with the Bowie County District Attorney’s Office said Brown’s GPS leg monitor showed he did not comply with a judge’s order concerning house arrest.

Brown, Marquell Smith, 21, and Shamari Newton, 25, are accused of first degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Christopher Guilbeau. Guilbeau, 24, 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.

Brown and Smith were arrested March 5 in Tulsa, Okla., driving Guilbeau’s pickup truck. 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.

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When Brown and Smith were brought from Oklahoma to Texas in July 2015, Brown’s bail was set at $750,000 and Smith’s at $1 million. Newton was arrested a couple of months later and her bail was set at $1 million.

In December, 202nd District Judge Leon Pesek denied requests from Brown’s and Smith’s lawyers to lower their bails. The attorneys argued that the men should be freed because the state was not ready to try their cases within 90 days of their arrests as required by state law for defendants who have been locked up continuously. The lawyers appealed to the 6th District Court of Appeals in Texarkana and a ruling from that court led Pesek to release the men and Newton on personal bonds Feb. 12.

Smith was only free for a weekend before he was back in jail for disobeying Pesek’s order to stay in his home on house arrest. Brown was arrested Friday. He is scheduled to appear Monday before Pesek for a hearing to determine if his personal bond will be revoked or if he will remain free while his case proceeds.

Brown’s case is scheduled for trial in November. Smith’s trial is set for October and Newton’s case is scheduled for jury selection in December.

First degree murder is punishable by five to 99 years or life in prison.

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