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Martrell Smith pleads guilty in Boone County

A Columbia man pleaded guilty Friday morning in Boone County Circuit Court to his role in connection with a brutal January 2014 drug-related killing. 22-year-old Martrell Smith had been charged with second degree murder in connection with the killing of 23-year-old Dontay Tolston in the 2000 block of Newton Drive in Columbia.

On Friday morning, the murder charge was amended and Smith pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance. Smith was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The Columbia Police Department’s probable cause statement says the killing was drug-related. The statement says a search of Tolston’s residence revealed marijuana and cocaine packaged for sale. The statement also says a search of Tolston’s cell phone revealed that the last six calls made to/from Tolston’s phone were with a phone belonging to Martrell Smith.

Two other men were charged with second degree murder in this case, 21-year-old Jimiah Lambert and Derrick Copelin. Lambert pleaded guilty last year to voluntary manslaughter, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to ten years in prison. Lambert is currently incarcerated at the Fulton Reception and Diagnostic Center. The murder charge against Copelin was also dropped, and he pleaded guilty in August to a drug charge and was sentenced to 180 days in prison.

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