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Guilty verdict declared for man hired in pregnant Texas woman's murder

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Posted at 3:48 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 16:48:36-04

A man who was hired to murder a woman who was almost seven months pregnant for a former Austin police officer in 2015 has been served a guilty verdict, according to Attorney General Ken Paxton's office.

The verdict was delivered on June 30, after six hours of deliberations in the case of State v. Freddie Lee Smith, according to Paxton. The woman, Samantha Dean, was "almost seven months pregnant at the time of her murder and had already named the baby Madeline," said the release.

" Former Austin Police Officer Vontrey Clark hired Freddie Smith to kill Samantha Dean for $5,000 because she was pregnant with Clark’s child and refused to have an abortion," said Paxton's office.

Evidence at trial showed that Clark lured Dean to Bastrop before both men fired shots at a vacant shopping center, according to the release; another friend of Clark's, Kevin Watson, brokered the deal and drove him to and from the murder scene.

"Clark pleaded guilty to capital murder in December 2019 and was sentenced to life without parole. Watson has pleaded guilty to murder and is scheduled to be sentenced this month. Samantha Dean’s mother and grandmother gave an eloquent victim impact statement, as did her sister and aunt," said Paxton's office.