Nephew in slaying of East Texas man captured in Florida

Updated: Feb. 24, 2017 at 9:30 AM CST
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MARION CO, TX (KSLA) - Authorities say the East Texas fugitive accused of fatally shooting his uncle has been captured in Florida.

Marion County Sheriff's say 50-year-old Joe Earl Smith was arrested around 11 p.m. Thursday by the Daytona Beach Shores Police Department.

According to Diane Walker, the victim's stepdaughter, 68-year-old Jack Smith was shot multiple times late Wednesday morning while working on his family's property in the 1700 block of U.S. Highway 59, also known as North Walcott Street.

She says it was Smith who pulled the trigger.

According to a statement released early Thursday afternoon by Sheriff David McKnight, witnesses say the dispute originated over land ownership and possible heirship of the land where the shooting happened. 

McKnight also said the sheriff's office had been called to the family's property numerous times in the past for disturbances.

Family members say the two were known to have disagreements and that they were arguing over cutting back brush in a wooded area behind their homes Wednesday when the nephew left and came back with a gun, shooting "Jackie" Smith twice.

Police say Smith was found sleeping in a white 1993 Ford Explorer in the parking lot of the office building located at 2970 South Atlantic Avenue.

Officers reportedly recognized the vehicle from a BOLO issued earlier in the day by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office Crime Center. Smith was taken into custody at the scene without incident.

While awaiting confirmation on the Marion County, Texas warrant, Smith allegedly told officers he shot his uncle over a land dispute in which his family had been evicted.

He said that he had driven to the area after the shooting to attend the races.

Smith was taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail with no bond. He will remain there until his waiver hearing, which according to authorities will be sometime between Monday and Wednesday of next week.

There will be a tribute service for Jack Smith on Sunday, February 26, at 11 a.m. at the Heritage Baptist Church in Jefferson, Texas. All family members and friends are encouraged to attend.

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