What began as a missing person investigation by Texarkana, Ark., police has led to three arrests for murder by Texarkana, Texas investigators.
Shamari Newton, 25, stood with Arlington, Texas lawyer Gerald Smith for a hearing Monday before 202nd District Judge Leon Pesek. Newton has not been indicted by a Bowie County grand jury but Pesek’s pre-indictment docket lists her pending charge as capital murder.
Two men, Brandon Eric Brown, 22, and Marquell Deonte Smith, 21, were arrested March 5 by police in Tulsa, Okla., while driving Christopher Guilbeau’s 2008 Dodge pickup, according to police and court records. The day before Smith and Brown were arrested by Tulsa police, Guilbeau’s family reported to Texarkana, Ark., police that they had not seen Guilbeau since Feb. 20.
Information from witnesses who contacted law enforcement March 6 led to the discovery of Guilbeau’s body in an alley behind a duplex at Della and West Eleventh Streets in Texarkana, Texas. Newton was living in the duplex behind which Guilbeau’s body was discovered March 6. The 24-year-old had been shot twice in the back and appeared to have been dead for several days.
Newton is allegedly Smith’s girlfriend. Investigators believe Newton knew Smith, Brown and possibly a fourth suspect identified as “Dee” were planning to rob Guilbeau. Newton allegedly gave Guilbeau’s cell phone to someone who helped her move, who in turn gave the phone to the child of a friend to play with.
The child’s mother told police she answered the phone when it rang and that a woman caller told her the owner of the phone was missing and advised she take the phone to police.
Bowie County’s grand jury meets again next month.
Capital murder is punishable by the death penalty or life without the possibility of parole.
Newton is currently in custody. Her bail is set at $1 million. Brown and Smith are also in custody. Smith’s bail is set at $1 million and Brown’s is set at $750,000. All three cases have been assigned to Pesek.