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Jury finds 26-year-old woman guilty of stabbing boyfriend to death at Port Arthur apartments

Amesty Smith, 26, was found guilty in the 2019 stabbing death of 24-year-old Gerald Taylor. The punishment phase begins Friday morning.

BEAUMONT, Texas — After about an hour of deliberation, the jury in the Jefferson County's Criminal District Court found a 26-year-old woman guilty in the 2019 stabbing death of her boyfriend.

Amesty Haley Smith, 26, of Port Arthur, is guilty of fatally stabbing her then 24-year-old boyfriend, Gerald Taylor.  The stabbing happened in 2019 at the Pebble Creek Apartments in Port Arthur.

The punishment phase will begin Friday at 9 a.m. 

Thursday morning, Prosecutor Mike Laird called a former tenant of the Pebble Creek Apartments to the stand.

The witness described hearing two people having a loud argument in a car in the parking lot. 

She testified that it was so loud that she could hear it while sitting inside her car with the windows up. 

She said she did not know the man and woman who were arguing in the car.

Defense attorney Tom Burbank asked the former tenant if she signed a statement that she gave to police about what she witnessed and she said she did. 

Prosecution's second witness Thursday was Port Arthur detective who testified about how investigators processed the crime scene.

Photos from the crime scene were shown in court as the detective described where the suspect’s cell phone was found, property from the victim was found and other items that were documented on site. 

The witness also testified about photos of the victim showing where he fell in the parking lot. 

He testified that he read the defendant her rights while questioning her at the police station. 

He testified that her version of events, which included her leaving after the argument, did not match what he saw in the video and evidence

On Wednesday, Smith stood quietly next to Burbank, as Laird read the indictment in court.

She responded, "not guilty" when Judge John Stevens asked how she pleaded.

During opening statements Laird told the jury that they would hear a witness describe seeing Taylor's body fall out of the trunk of a car. He also explained that the witnesses' testimony may be delayed due to Tuesday's storms.

Jurors will also hear from a witnesses who  worked at a nearby business and overheard Smith call someone to ask them to swap cars Laird said during his opening.

He also noted that a witness will testify that Smith showed up late to a job interview the day she is accused of killing Taylor.

Smith's defense attorney, Tom Burbank, opted not to make an opening statement.

Smith is charged with murder in connection with the 2019 stabbing death of 24-year-old Gerald Taylor.

The deadly stabbing took place on October 12, 2019. Port Arthur Police responded to the 4100 block of Jimmy Johnson Boulevard shortly after 7 a.m. after receiving a call about a "man down" in front of the Pebble Creek Apartment complex.

Officers arrived and found Taylor, who was later pronounced dead. Medical professionals said Taylor been stabbed one time on the left part of his chest, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Smith and Taylor lived together at the apartment complex court records show.

A witness that lived at the complex told police, an intense argument between Smith and Taylor woke them up around 6 a.m. The witness told police as far as they could tell, Smith and Taylor were in good health when the two left the apartment at around 6:40 a.m.

During an interview, Smith told police she and Taylor left the apartment together. She stated the two got into an argument and then Taylor assaulted her while they were in the car, according to the affidavit. 

Smith told police Taylor left the car after the assault while still in the complex, but the video shows that he left the car near the front gate where he was found dead. 

Smith had scratches on the right side of her face and blood on her shirt near her right rib area, according to the affidavit. Smith denied ever hurting Taylor.

This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

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