BASTROP – Attorney General Paxton is pleased to announce on June 30, 2022, after six hours of deliberations, a jury returned a capital murder guilty verdict in the case of State v. Freddie Lee Smith. 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. Clark and Dean had been in a sporadic relationship for over six years. Clark had his friend, Kevin Watson, broker the deal to hire Smith to kill Dean and her unborn baby. A former Kyle Police Department Victim Services Counselor, Dean was almost seven months pregnant at the time of her murder and had already named the baby Madeline.
Clark, Watson, and Smith implemented an elaborate scheme, but their burner phone records, geolocation data, and cellular forensic exams revealed their criminal plan. In July 2015, Clark fled to Indonesia when certain search warrants and court orders were unsealed. The Indonesia government extradited Clark to Texas at the request of the FBI and Texas Rangers.
The evidence at trial showed that Clark lured Dean to Bastrop, Texas under false pretenses, where Smith then shot her in the head at a vacant shopping center. After Smith shot Dean twice, Clark fired an additional shot into her body. Watson also participated in the planning of the crime and gave Smith a ride 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.
The Office of the Attorney General became involved in the case at the request of Bastrop County District Attorney Bryan Goertz. Assistant Attorneys General Jane Starnes and Tina Richardson have been involved with this case since May 2015. Also assisting with the trial and preparation of the case were Legal Assistant Michael Roberts, Legal Assistant Angela Lopez, Lt. Missy Wolfe, and Victim Assistance Coordinator Carolyn McGinley.