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1/2/2013 - Tyvon Smith murder trial scheduled to start today - Click here to print this information

The trial of Tyvon Smith, accused of murder in the July, 2011 shooting death of Belarmino Escalante, is scheduled to begin on January 2, 2013. Mr. Smith, who turned himself in to the Accomack County Sherriff's Office in August after a Grand Jury indictment for the crime, also faces charges of attempted robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony that stem from the same event.

A co-defendant, Devonte Davis, pled guilty to and was convicted of attempted robbery on August 20, 2012. Mr. Davis' charge of murder, along with two felony weapons charges, were continued until March 23, 2013, as was his sentencing for the attempted robbery conviction.

According to evidence given by Commonwealth's Attorney Gary Agar at Mr. Davis' August court appearance, Mr. Smith, Mr. Davis and co-defendant Kevonte Bell, were pumping gas at the Royal Farms in Nelsonia when they determined that they would rob the vehicle in front of them once it had left Royal Farms. The three co-defendants followed the vehicle, which contained Mr. Escalante and two or three other men, into the parking lot of Candelero de Oro church at about 4:00 a.m. on July 21, 2011. The men were meeting a foreman for a job they were going to start. Mr. Escalante was not robbed, but he was left with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. One of the cars in the church parking lot followed Mr.Davis' car and obtained enough information to lead investigators to Mr. Davis, and the case unfolded from there.

Mr. Escalante, of Greenbush, was 27 years old at the time of his death and is survived by his wife and four young children.

Stay tuned to WESR for full trial coverage.

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