MARSHALL COUNTY, Miss. —Jury selection begins on Monday for the man accused of murdering a 20-year-old Arkansas man nearly two years ago in Marshall County.
In July 2017, Samuel Smith of Pulaski County, Arkansas was discovered dead by fishermen at Chewalla Lake, several days after he texted his sister that he was going to go camping in the area with his border collie Kava.
Several days later, the man's body was found in the lake and his dog was missing.
Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson told WREG at the time that they believed Smith picked up a man along the way and was killed about two days later once they reached the lake. An autopsy revealed that the 20-year-old had drowned three to four days before his body was found. He also had signs of trauma on his head.
Shortly after the murder, cameras caught a man in a backwards cap and unbuttoned shirt stumble into a convenience store in Marshall County asking for directions. Authorities said that man was wearing one of Smith's shirts, had several of the victim's belongings in tow and was even driving the man's truck.
Witnesses were also able to place that man at the lake with Smith.
On August 11, the suspect was identified by police as Joshua Lee Fletcher and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Five days later, Fletcher reportedly turned himself in.
As for Smith's dog Kava, the sheriff's department said she was eventually located by a Mississippi Highway patrol officer on the side of Interstate 55 outside of Winona. She was then sent to a vet for treatment.
Kava had some road rash on her side and bruises on her legs. Investigators believe she either jumped or was thrown from the truck.
She was later reunited with Smith's family.