A Bastrop County grand jury this month indicted Charles Jeremy Smith for the murder of 28-year-old Amber Taylor, who was found fatally shot on the side of the road in Del Valle in 2016.
Taylor was found dead on Wolf Lane near FM 535 on Oct. 31, 2016 in what authorities initially believed was a hit-and-run crash. A preliminary autopsy report later revealed that she had died from gunshot wounds, and her death was ruled a homicide.
Smith, 40, was arrested for the crime on Nov. 28 and is being held at the Bastrop County Jail on a murder charge and a second felony for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, records show. His bail is set at $600,000.
According to an arrest affidavit, a friend of Smith’s told police he received a call from Smith the night of Taylor’s murder asking him to come pick him up in Elgin and “that it was an emergency.” He and another friend met Smith at a gas station and it appeared he was “messed up on something,” the affidavit said.
The friend told police that during the ride Smith told him he “had to kill her,” the affidavit said.
He said he “unloaded the f—-ing whole clip in her” and that he had to do it because “she was trying to get me f—-ed off with the Mexicans,” the document said.
That night, another friend drove back the vehicle Smith had been driving that day, a black pickup truck, according to the affidavit. It had been reported stolen out of Bell County the day of Taylor’s murder, from a residence near to where Smith’s vehicle, a Mercedes Benz, had been found, the affidavit said.
When authorities recovered the pickup truck from the tow yard, it had a broken driver’s side window, “holes in the exterior of the pickup truck” and “red/brown staining on the driver’s seat of the vehicle,” the affidavit said.
Bastrop County sheriff’s investigators at the time of Taylor’s murder said they believed she had been shot inside a vehicle and tossed onto the road. The affidavit also said that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend had seen Smith and Taylor together the day before her murder, when she came to visit her kids at his house in Del Valle.
Taylor was the mother of two young daughters, 6 and 8, her father Don Taylor said. “No matter what she always smiled,” he said. “Our world is charged forever. She will be missed.”
Taylor’s murder is one in a slew of homicides to occur on the Bastrop-Travis county line in the latter part of 2016, many which authorities believed to be drug-related and whose victims were from Bastrop County. Among them was a man discovered shot in a burning car, right across Texas 71 on Buck Lane the day before Taylor was found.