Richland man goes on trial Monday: allegedly killed girl friend, dumped body on lawn

jmonk@thestate.comJuly 22, 2013 

gavel

— Jury selection is slated to begin today in a Richland County courtroom in the case of a man accused of killing his girlfriend and then dumping her body on the woman’s front lawn several days later.

Marcus Bailey, in his late 20s, is charged with murder in the death of Almanita L. Smith, 26, whose body was found in the front yard of her home at 613 Heron Glen Drive last August.

At the time, officials said the death was a homicide but an initial autopsy did not pinpoint the cause of death. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said Smith had likely been dead several days before her body was deposited in her front yard, where a neighbor discovered it early one morning.

It appeared to be a case of domestic violence, Watts said last year in news accounts.

Deputies had been called to the home the day before by a relative who had not seen Smith for several days. Deputies saw no body on the lawn that day.

Heron Glen Drive is in the Lake Shore subdivision, a residential neighborhood south of the intersection of Farrow Road and Killian Road, in northeast Rich-land County. It is about five miles north of Ft. Jackson.

Circuit Judge Robert Hood is presiding. Fifth Circuit assistant solicitor Luck Campbell is leading the prosecution team.

Richland County sheriff’s detectives have not revealed details of the case since Bailey’s arrest, and it remains to be seen exactly how they will establish their case, how Smith died and where her body was before it was put on her front lawn.

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