Two men plead not guilty to first degree murder Monday at arraignment hearings in Bowie County

left - Brandon Brown, 22 right - Marquell Smith, 20

Brandon Eric Brown, 22, and Marquell Deonte Smith, 21, appeared before 202nd District Judge Leon Pesek for arraignment Monday. A third defendant, Shamari Newton, 25, was indicted in the fatal shooting of Christopher Guilbeau also but was not scheduled to appear Monday.

Guilbeau, 28, was reported missing by a family member to Texarkana, Ark., police March 4. Brown and Smith were stopped and arrested the next day in Tulsa, Okla., while driving Guilbeau’s 2008 Dodge truck. Information from witnesses led to the discovery of Guilbeau’s body March 6 in an alley in Texarkana, Texas near the 1100 block of Della Street. Newton, who was reportedly Smith’s girlfriend, was living in a duplex near the location where Guilbeau’s body was found.

Brown appeared with Texarkana attorney Al Smith Monday and plead not guilty. Marquell Smith appeared with Chief Bowie County Public Defender Rick Shumaker and plead not guilty. A date for Newton’s arraignment hasn’t been scheduled, according to court records.

Pesek scheduled Marquell Smith’s case for a hearing Dec. 7 to address a motion Shumaker filed asking for a lower bond. Marquell Smith’s bond is set at $1 million. Brown’s bond is set at $750,000. Newton’s bond is set at $1 million.

If found guilty of murder, the defendants could receive 5 to 99 years or life in prison.

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