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Woman accused in deadly 2019 stabbing at Port Arthur apartment complex set for trial Tuesday

Amesty Smith's trial was set to begin in 2022, but she did not show up for court and was later arrested.

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — A 26-year-old Port Arthur woman who had her bond revoked after missing a 2022 court appearance will stand trial this week for murder.

Amesty Smith was set to appear before Judge John Stevens Monday, December 5, 2022 morning to possibly begin her trial, but she did not show up. She was arrested that evening and has been in custody ever since. 

(Editor's note: The above video is from a December, 6, 2022 newscast.)

The court has set her trial date for Tuesday, January 24, 2023.

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.

Credit: JCSO

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.

Related: Port Arthur woman accused of murdering boyfriend, fleeing scene with his leg hanging out of trunk

A witness told police they saw Taylor fall out of the trunk of a "brown or tan" Ford Taurus that was driving out of the complex. The witness said Taylor stumbled his way near the sidewalk and collapsed. 

The witness also told police a young woman was driving the Ford at the time. That woman was later identified as Smith, according to the 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.

Related: Port Arthur woman arrested for Saturday stabbing death of boyfriend identified

Security video from the complex showed that Smith backed out of the complex around 6:46 a.m. and drove a short distance. The video then showed the car stop for about eight minutes while still inside the complex. 

After the short stop, the car went toward the front gate area. Police believe Taylor's legs could be seen hanging out the trunk of the car at that point of the video, according to the affidavit.

The car then drove toward the gate out of view of the camera. Around 6:55 a.m. Taylor is seen walking from the vehicle. 

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.

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