Suspect In Texas A&M Commerce Double Homicide Charged In New Year’s Eve Murder

Wednesday, February 5th 2020, 12:17 pm
By: CBS News

DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The suspect in the deadly shooting of two sisters at Texas A&M University-Commerce this week, Jacques Smith, now faces a third count of capital murder added for the death of Steven W. Daniels Jr.

The 22-year-old father was shot at his Denton apartment on New Year’s Eve.

Denton Police have charged two other men as well in connection to his death. 

Jalin Hargrove, 23, and Earnest Rogers, 26, were taken into custody after Denton Police detectives found evidence at the Smith’s Rowlett home.

They remain in the Denton City Jail.

Smith was transported to the Hunt County Jail.

He’s accused of killing sisters Deja, 19, and Abbaney Matts, 20, and injuring Abbaney’s 2-year-old child at Pride Rock residence hall.

According to family members, Smith was Abbaney Matts’ ex-boyfriend. Authorities were able to identify Smith as the suspect through surveillance video and tips from witnesses.

The child, who belonged to Abbaney Matts, was treated and released to family.

School officials said Deja Matts of Garland was a freshman at the university while Abbaney was not a student there.

It was later learned that Smith had been arrested on Jan. 27 for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Dallas County. Sources tell CBS 11 News the incident involved Smith allegedly throwing a television at Abbaney Matts.

According to sources, Smith was released two days later on a $15,000 bond despite violating his probation. His criminal history includes charges for several aggravated robberies, thefts and evading arrest incidents.

On Monday after the shooting, authorities did not give an indication that they were looking for a suspect. Officials later said the shooting was a “targeted, isolated” incident.

The arrest was announced Tuesday by school officials and the Rowlett Police Department. The motive for the shooting is not yet known.

The victims’ father, Timothy Matts, spoke about the shooting and how it involved the 2-year-old child.

“Who shoots a baby? Who does that? ?Let alone two girls?” Timothy Matts said. “This is what some coward did. They left my daughter without her big sisters.”

Although there were no other injuries reported at the residence hall, at least one student told authorities that it appeared a gunshot went through her nearby dorm room while she was away.

“It looks like something was shot through the wall and hit my calendar and the wall is like all broken apart,” one student told a 911 operator.

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

Smith is not a student at A&M-Commerce.