Motion to suppress hearing in capital murder case taken under advisement

Jan. 27—By Brad Kellar

The judge in the trial of Jacques Dshawn Smith of Rowlett will consider a motion to suppress evidence in Smith's capital murder case, and an upcoming trial will be postponed.

Smith's attorney filed the motion seeking to have evidence thrown out. She argues that her client's constitutional rights were violated during the investigation into a double homicide in Commerce two years ago.

In the motion to suppress, defense counsel Jessica McDonald also argued last week that her client is not mentally competent to stand trial in connection with the Feb. 4, 2020, deaths of Abbaney Matts and her sister Deja on the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus.

At the conclusion of a hearing last week, 196th District Judge Andrew Bench indicated he would take McDonald's motion under advisement and set a review hearing for March 27.

Smith's trial had been set to begin Feb. 20. A new trial date had not been scheduled as of Wednesday morning.

Smith, 24, remains in custody at the Hunt County Detention Center. He is being held in lieu of $2 million bond.

Smith was reported to be the ex-boyfriend of Abbaney Matts.

Hunt County District Attorney Noble D. Walker Jr. has waived the death penalty if Smith is found guilty, in which case he would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

McDonald's motion claims that investigators interrogating Smith following his Feb. 4, 2020 arrest violated his right to a Miranda Warning under the Fifth Amendment, in part because Smith has an "intellectual disability" that made him unable to understand his rights against potential self-incrimination. McDonald claimed Smith has a "full scale IQ of 57."

McDonald's motion argues that any statements made by Smith should be thrown out and not used as evidence should a trial proceed.

The double homicide in Commerce is not the only serious crime for which Smith stands accused.

The defendant, along with two other men, also is accused of capital murder in Denton County in connection with the death of Steven Daniels on Dec. 31, 2019. Smith also faces Dallas County charges of aggravated robbery and evading arrest. He has pleaded not guilty to the other charges.