Noland Trial Underway

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It was an attack that shocked the Brazos Valley and left a dark cloud over one of our area's most popular events. Navy service man Brandon Smith was on leave and decided to spend the day relaxing at the Renaissance Festival. But before he could make it home, he was savagely stabbed to death. Wednesday, the murder trial of the accused killer began.

Opening arguments wrapped up around 3:30 Wednesday afternoon in the murder trial of 20-year-old Brent William Noland, the man accused of brutally stabbing 23-year-old Brandon Smith.

The state and defense painted two different pictures of Noland. The state said Noland met Smith at the Texas Renaissance Festival in October 2004. Smith, a U.S. Navy serviceman went to the festival with his sister, as a family tradition. The state said Noland and Smith hung out and decided to meet later in the parking lot. It's in the parking lot a fight broke out. Noland's friend Jonathan Damuth allegedly kicked Smith to the ground and the state said Nolan stabbed Smith 19 times.

The defense painted a picture of self-defense. They say Smith was intoxicated and severely threatened Noland.

Thursday morning the trial will continue. The victim's sister is expected to take the stand within the next ten days. According to the Grimes County District Attorney, based on opening arguments, it's highly likely Noland will take the stand as well.

Jonathan Damuth, the man accused of kicking Smith is out on bond. He is charged with murder and will face a separate trial on a date yet to be determined.