Denton

Suspect in Texas A&M Sister Slayings Charged in New Year’s Eve Murder

Texas A&M Commerce murder suspect charged with capital murder in Denton case with two other men

Earnest Rogers, Jacques Smith and Jalin Hargrove
NBC 5 News

The man charged with double capital murder in the slaying of two sisters in an East Texas university residence hall on Monday is facing another charge of capital murder in an unrelated case out of Denton.

Jacques Smith, 21, who was accused Tuesday of killing his ex-girlfriend, 20-year-old Abbaney Matts and her 19-year-old sister Deja Matts, inside the Pride Rock residence hall at Texas A&M University-Commerce, is now also one of three men charged with killing 22-year-old Steven Daniels on New Year's Eve.

Denton police said investigators were searching Smith's Rowlett home on Tuesday in connection with they killings in Commerce when they uncovered evidence that connected him to the murder in Denton. Police did not reveal what evidence linked Smith to the case in Denton, but did say Denton detectives applied for a secondary search warrant for the residence.

On Wednesday morning, officials charged Smith, along with 23-year-old Jalin Hargrove and 26-year-old Earnest Rogers, with capital murder in the case. Police also did not reveal how they linked Hargrove and Rogers to the New Year's Eve murder.

Hargrove and Rogers were placed under arrest and transported to the Denton City Jail without incident and are being held on $1 million bond. Smith, who was arrested Tuesday in Rowlett, was transferred to the Hunt County Jail by Texas DPS officials. It's not clear if the men have obtained attorneys.

Denton police said Daniels was found on New Year's Eve on the ground inside a gated apartment complex on the 900 block of Cleveland Street suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to his chest. Daniels was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators have not revealed a motive for either shooting.

Police said due to the ongoing nature of both the Denton police investigation and the Texas A&M University-Commerce police investigation, no additional details are being released at this time.

Anyone with any information in relation to the Daniels case is encouraged to call Denton County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-388-TIPS or the Denton Police Department tip line at 940-349-TIPS.

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