Upcoming murder cases

Hunt County is currently facing three separate capital murder cases based on reported double homicides.

Hunt County is currently facing three separate capital murder cases based on reported double homicides.

Two of the cases occurred in the past year, including the Feb.4 shooting deaths on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Jacques Dshawn Smith, 21, off Rowlett is being held in the Hunt County Detention Center in lieu of a total of $2 million bond on a charge of capital murder of multiple persons in the deaths of Abbaney Matts and her sister Deja on the university campus, and a charge of capital murder filed by the Denton Police Department.

Smith filed a writ of habeas corpus from the jail, seeking the appointment of a defense counsel.

During a hearing Friday,196th District Court Judge Andrew Bench instructed Smith to hire his own attorney by Feb. 21.

Smith is also being held in the Hunt County facility on probation violation warrants on charges of aggravated robbery and evading arrest from Dallas County.

Hunt County District Attorney Noble D. Walker said the charges against Smith will not be presented to the next session of the Hunt County grand jury on Feb. 24.

“No, it is still under investigation at this time,” Walker said, although he believes after any indictments are filed in the various counties having jurisdiction in the alleged offenses, it will be Hunt County which will conduct the first trial.

“As he remains in our jail, it is very likely ours will be handled first,” Walker said.

The case against Smith is just one of three involving double homicides in Hunt County.

• Two defendants are charged with capital murder in connection with the February, 2019 homicides of two people in Royse City. Calvin Earl Rayford, 18, of Rowlett and Dearis Rayvone Davis, 19, of Arlington have pleaded not guilty to indictments involving the deaths of Courtland Trowell-Wilmore and a juvenile male whose identify is being kept confidential. Davis and Rayford are each being held in lieu of $1 million bond each on charges of capital murder of multiple persons. Trial dates have not yet been scheduled for either defendant.

• Tyrone Jamaal Williams of San Marcos has been indicted on a charge of capital murder involving a reported double homicide near Commerce in 2016. He has pleaded not guilty. The start of testimony is currently set for August 10.

At least 11 people are currently facing charges of murder or capital murder, with three others charged in related cases.

“We’ve got an expert staff of assistant district attorneys, and they’ll be able to handle it,” Walker said.

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