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Jury selection is slated for 1 of 4 suspects in murder

Jury selection is slated for 1 of 4 suspects in murder

Victim, 28, died while waiting on his 10-year-old daughter's school bus

December 9th, 2017 by Lynn LaRowe in Texarkana News

A final pretrial hearing was held in Bowie County this week for one of four men accused in the death of a Texarkana father who was shot while waiting for a school bus.

Jury selection for Anthony Wilson, 20, is scheduled to begin Tuesday at Bowie County Courthouse in New Boston, Texas, before 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart. Wilson and three others—Jailon Gamble, 20, Jaquelle Rogers, 22, and Marshall Vallejos, 23—are accused in the March 29, 2016, fatal shooting of Casey Smith, 28.

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Vallejos pleaded guilty to felony murder earlier this year and is serving a sentence of life with parole possible. Wilson, Gamble and Rogers each face a charge of capital murder. Because the state is not seeking the death penalty, the men face an automatic sentence of life without parole if convicted of the most serious offense listed in Texas' criminal code.

Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp told the court the state has made no plea offer to Wilson and intends to seek a capital murder conviction for him. Crisp said results on DNA testing requested by the defense were returned by the crime lab in October.

Crisp said the state has turned over all evidence to the defense, including DNA and ballistics results, and that crime scene investigators were made available to the defense for pretrial questioning.

"All of the evidence was unpacked and inspected by the defense at the D.A.'s office," Crisp said.

Texarkana defense lawyer Derric McFarland agreed that the state has provided the defense with all evidence in the case. Crisp and McFarland announced that both sides are ready for trial.

Gamble and Rogers have both been subpoenaed to testify. Their cases are not expected to be resolved until next year.

Smith was shot multiple times as he waited in his car for his daughter's school bus, according to a probable-cause affidavit used to create the following account. One of the defendants allegedly waited nearby in a car while the other three approached Smith. Vallejos confessed to shooting Smith in the face. Wilson allegedly fired shots as well.

Opening statements and testimony from the first of the state's witnesses are expected to begin Wednesday morning. All of the defendants remain in custody.

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com

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