Death sentence on line for would-be rapper in triple killing

KXAN File Photo

DALLAS (AP) — A former University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff student who once aspired to become a famous rapper now has his life on the line after his capital murder conviction in the shooting deaths of three people at a Dallas drug house.

The Dallas Morning News reports the penalty phase opens Monday in the trial of 24-year-old Justin Pharez Smith, in which prosecutors will present evidence in their bid for a death sentence.

Prosecutors say a need for money compelled Smith to kill a man and two women in the August 2014 holdup. A woman and a man survived the attack and identified Smith as the killer.

Prosecutor Kobby Warren said Smith came to Dallas intending to get “on the dope game.” The problem was “he was a terrible drug dealer.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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