A Rundown of the Investigation of Fant Smart's Death - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

01/11/02 - Lufkin

A Rundown of the Investigation of Fant Smart's Death

As of Friday, January 11, 20-year-old Daniel Lee Ellis and DeAnna Shepherd  were wanted for the murder of 55-year old Fant Smart. Smart's body was found in a creek bed in Trinity County on January 7. He had been wrapped in a sheet and tied down with cinder blocks. His hands were tied behind his back. Smart had also been hit in the head with a blunt object, and was shot several times. In Angelina County, Smart's house had been burned to the ground.

Angelina County Sheriff Kent Henson said witnesses told authorities Ellis and Shepherd were seen in Smart's pick-up truck Monday night in Lufkin. Authorities had considered the two armed and dangerous.

However, after a week-long search for Ellis and Shepherd, police caught up with the two just outside Amarillo shortly after 7:00 pm Friday night. Authoritites say they were still driving Fant's 2001 white GMC pick-up truck. After a short chase, the suspects wrecked the truck. That's when police say Ellis shot and killed himself. Shepherd was not injured in the wreck. She is currently being held in the Randall County Jail near Amarillo. 

Angelina County Sheriff Kent Henson said officers from his department are on their way to Amarillo to bring Shepherd back to Lufkin. She will face charges of capital murder in Fant Smart's death. Meanwhile, the investigation into exactly how Smart's house burned down continues.

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