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Crime

Judge gives 17-year sentence in Columbia murder case

Laron Nesbitt

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

A Columbia man pleaded guilty to murder Monday in a January 2019 killing.

Laron Nesbitt, 25, pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree murder after originally being charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Deonte Gainwell.

Investigators used phone records to tie Nesbitt to Gainwell's death, according to documents filed when he was charged. Authorities believed Gainwell was at a prearranged drug deal when he was shot. Gainwell was found dead in his car early Jan. 17 in the 3700 block of Weymeyer Drive.

Investigators said Nesbitt told another person he had killed a person with the same nickname as Gainwell.

Gainwell had shot and killed community activist Ahmonta Harris in November, but the Boone County prosecutor and the Boone County Sheriff’s Department determined the killing was justified, saying Harris had broken into Gainwell’s house to commit a robbery.

Judge Jeff Harris sentenced Nesbitt to 17 years in prison.

Boone / Columbia / Homicide / News / Shooting / Top Stories
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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

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