Trial date set in landlord's murder

Matthew Earl Smith


Some six months after Grady Cole Dupuy’s death, the family of the Beaumont landowner may find justice as his alleged killer is set to appear in court.

Matthew Earl Smith was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury June 20 on the first-degree felony of murder.

The killing occurred June 5 when — according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Examiner — Smith went to his former residence on Boondocks Road with a concealed handgun “just in case there was a problem” retrieving his property.

Evidently, there was a problem and Smith, who does not hold a concealed handgun license, eventually became embroiled in a verbal altercation with Dupuy.

According to the affidavit, it was then that Smith drew his pistol and later admitted to shooting Dupuy “two or three times to stop Dupuy from coming at him,” telling police on the scene that his actions had been in self defense. There was a shotgun found near Dupuy’s body.

The affidavit said Smith made no attempt to give medical attention to Dupuy, nor did he call police.

In a later mirandized interview with police, Smith recanted his self defense story, telling police “there was no shotgun leaning nearby and that after he shot Dupuy, he went into the house and got the shotgun from a closet in Dupuy’s room and placed it by the body to make it look like self defense,” the affidavit said.

Smith also admitted to using “meth” at about 10 a.m. before he went to Dupuy’s home, according to the affidavit.

Smith’s bond of $150,000 was paid and he bonded out of the Jefferson County Jail on Oct 25.

When he appeared in Judge John Stevens’ Criminal District Court on Wednesday, Dec. 4, Smith was requesting he be allowed to leave town to find work. He has been wearing a GPS monitoring device since he bonded out in October. He is set to appear for trial Jan 13, 2014.