UPDATE: Orange County man sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter; Vidor woman’s body found in Sabine Lake in 2012

BEAUMONT — An Orange County man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the murder of a woman whose body was found floating in Sabine Lake in 2012.

David Carl Smith, 39, pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter, a second-degree felony, in the death of Amber Nicole Guillory, 26, in Criminal District Judge John Stevens’ courtroom on Tuesday.

Smith was originally charged with first degree murder which carries a sentence up to life in prison but due to an inconsistency between the medical examiners report and witness statements regarding Guillory’s cause of death; drowning or strangulation; a plea agreement was reached between the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office and defense attorney Thomas Burbank. A jury had already been selected prior to the plea.

Tina Glisson, mother of Guillory, gave an emotional victim impact statement.

“David, you will never know how much you hurt my family,” Glisson said then paused briefly while crying. “I go home every day to my grandson. He sits there without his mother. He goes through a lot. I want you to know what you did to that child, not just me. She didn’t deserve to die. You deserve to be in the ground. Somewhere when it’s your time I hope they beat the hell out of you before you die.”

The defendant, clad in a light grey dress shirt and black slacks, showed no emotion throughout the proceedings which concluded before noon, Members of his family sat quietly as Glisson made her statement.

Prosecutor Ashley Molfino declined to call the plea and sentencing a victory.

“It’s hard to say we’re satisfied when someone lost a family member,” Molfino said after the court proceedings were concluded. “He took responsibility for taking her (Guillory) from Vidor to the water. He accepted responsibility for ending her life with his actions.”

Tammy Landry, sister of David Carl Smith, said her heart goes out to Guillory’s family and to her own.

“My mom has aged 20 years in the last three years,” Landry said. “It’s took its toll on her.”

The drug fueled crime began on or around Dec. 6, 2012 at the Budget Inn, 2465 North St. in Vidor. According to a probable cause affidavit, Guillory, a known prostitute in the city of Orange, demanded compensation from Smith for sexual services and an altercation ensued. During the argument Smith beat and choked Guillory.

A female witness in the room reportedly tried to stop Smith but he threatened her.

The victim was then brought to Pleasure Island and was discovered by a fisherman a few feet from the Sabine Lake shore on North Levee Road. She was wearing pajama bottoms and a black and white hoodie top and jewelry.

A medical examination showed Guillory had methamphetamine and cocaine in her system at the time of her death. It is believed she was unconscious when her body was dumped.

Soon afterward, Smith flew to The Netherlands, which is not uncommon as he has a wife there. An arrest warrant was issued in April 2013 and Smith was taken into custody in Nijmegen, The Netherlands on April 16, 2013. U.S. Marshal’s brought Smith in from the Netherlands on Dec. 19, 2014.

Smith sent correspondence to local media including The Orange Leader which is the sister paper of the Port Arthur News regarding his innocence. He claimed he did not have sex with Guillory and that someone else killed her.

During the investigation, law enforcement learned Smith is reportedly affiliated with a white supremacy group. His affiliation is linked to a YouTube channel account for “cowboydave1488.” The numbers 1488 refer to the 14 words commonly associated with white supremacy” “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” while “88” refers to the eighth letters of the alphabet, HH, or Heil Hitler, according to a story that ran in the April 19, 2013 edition of the Port Arthur News.

It is unclear how or if his alleged affiliation fits into the crime.

Smith’s plea deal allows for credit for time served as well as waiving his right to appeal.

E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

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