Capital Murder Trial Begins

Deanna Shepherd is accused of killing Fant Smart and then trying to cover up the murder by torching Smart's house.

Shepherd's defense attorneys said at the time she was being influenced by Daniel Pugh, who was also a suspect in Smart's murder until he killed himself. The defense said Pugh had a tendency for violent behavior.

Prosecutor Janet Cassels said Pugh and Shepherd killed Smart, then took his body and dumped it in a Trinity County creek. She said they drove to Florida, then back to Texas where they were cornered by police near Amarillo. That's when Pugh shot himself to death.

Several witnesses also took the stand, including the man who found Fant Smart's body, still bound, in the creek. An inspector from the State Fire Marshal's office testified that the fire at Smart's house was intentionally set.

The state has several more witnesses to call before the defense begins to present its case.