Family of Gainesville murder victim speaks out


GAINESVILLE, TX -- The family of a Denton man who was stabbed to death in Gainesville Friday night is speaking out. News 12 spoke to family members of Johnny Tarrell Smith Monday while his alleged killer faces a murder charge.

"It's hard to comprehend," Barbara Smith cried. "You know you never imagine outliving your child."

Barbara Smith is trying to cope with the death of her 34-year-old son.

"Terrell didn't deserve this. He didn't deserve to leave this earth like this," Barbara said.

Authorities say 43-year-old Victor Martinez faces a first degree murder charge. He is accused of stabbing Terrell Smith around 9:00 Friday night in the 700 Block of Harvey St. in Gainesville.

Smith's girlfriend, Brandy Neal, says he was actually stabbed at her cousin's home and after he was injured he ran down to her house, which is just two houses down.

Neal says their 7-year-old son was there when Smith stumbled through the door.

"He told me to call 911 so I ran to his phone and called 911," Anthony Brandon Neal, said.

Smith was air-lifted to a Plano hospital where he died.

Now, while Smith's family is mourning his death police are trying to determine what led to the stabbing. Neal says Smith was at her cousins house with two others when Martinez appeared accusing Smith of following his daughter and her friend.

"He's got two three-year-old girls. Why would he try to talk to a 13-year-old," Neal asked.

Martinez's girlfriend Melanie Mccoloumb says he stabbed Smith in self defense.

"All three ran out at him. One of them having a gun that he'd already shown to Victor and shot in the air, and he protected himself," Mccoloumb said.

Neal claims Martinez attacked Smith at random.

"The guy came in the yard even tried to go in the house trying to fight them, and so really I don't even understand how they are trying to claim self defense when he came over here to our neighborhood," Neal said.

Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call Gainesville Police at (940) 668-7777. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call the Crime Tips Hotline at (940)
612-0000.


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