Home Crime **UPDATED** Woman Shot in Latexo

**UPDATED** Woman Shot in Latexo

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Suspect Arrested

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

LATEXO – A Houston County man is in jail after he allegedly shot a woman in the Latexo area on Monday morning, Jan. 21, according to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO).

Information obtained from an affidavit of probable cause indicated HCSO deputies were dispatched to a residence located at 230 CR 1605 in reference to a shooting – with a gunshot victim – at approximately 9:43 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21.

When the law enforcement officials arrived at the scene, they were given a description of the suspect while an eyewitness at the scene “… identified Justin Hayward Smith as the shooter.”

According to the affidavit, the 26-year-old Smith from Crockett “… used a .380 caliber handgun and shot Andrea Nicole Helton in the driveway at 230 CR 1605 during a physical disturbance that was taking place at the time. Andrea was shot in the facial /head area and from medical reports, the bullet is still inside her.”

Witnesses at the scene reported Helton was the live-in girlfriend of Smith for at least the last two or three months.

Statements were taken from witnesses and evidence was collected at the scene, including the handgun which was believed to have been used in the shooting.

“It was also reported that Justin Smith stood over the victim and pulled the trigger two more times, but the gun did not fire,” the affidavit stated.

Smith was apprehended a short time later and transported to the Houston County Jail where he was booked into custody and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a first degree felony.

In addition, the HCSO has requested the Department of Public Safety, Texas Ranger’s Division for assistance with the investigation

The victim was airlifted to a Tyler area hospital for treatment of her wounds and is currently listed in stable condition, according to the HCSO.

Section 12.32 of the Texas Penal Code states, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than five years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

Smith remains in custody and is being held on a $150,000 bond.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.