Columbus teen pleads not guilty to murder and robbery - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus teen pleads not guilty to murder and robbery

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Gary Smith, Jr. in court Saturday Gary Smith, Jr. in court Saturday
Gary Smith, 15, is connected to the death of 21-year-old Marylul Poupart. (Source: Muscogee County Jail) Gary Smith, 15, is connected to the death of 21-year-old Marylul Poupart. (Source: Muscogee County Jail)
MaryLul Poupart on the left (Source: Facebook) MaryLul Poupart on the left (Source: Facebook)
MaryLul Poupart on the right (Source: Facebook) MaryLul Poupart on the right (Source: Facebook)
The suspect's father and mother found the body of 21-year-old Marylul Poupart in their backyard covered with a sheet. The suspect's father and mother found the body of 21-year-old Marylul Poupart in their backyard covered with a sheet.
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A Columbus teen, accused of killing a 21-year-old college student, went before a Recorder's Court judge Saturday afternoon.

Fifteen year-old Gary Smith Junior pleaded not guilty to several serious charges including robbery and murder.

"Gary Smith Senior stated that when he got home from work he went outside to smoke a cigarette and later found there was a dead female in the backyard," Police Detective Daniel Lyon testified.

During testimony in Recorders Court, Investigator Lyon said Smith's father and mother found the body of 21-year-old Marylul Poupart in their backyard covered with a sheet.

Lyon's said Smith, Jr. told police he invited Poupart over after getting her number from a friend.

"He stated that yes, [he] did get into an argument with Miss Poupart and that he ended up choking her. [Smith, Jr.] panicked and he took her outside, put a sheet over her and then left."

Detective Lyon explained that Poupart had bruises all over her body on her neck, knees, and elbows; which he stated was likely from being dragged outside.

Smith, Jr. is also being charged with two counts of theft. He is accused taking her silver 2005 Cadillac Deville, an iPhone, iPad, money and her makeup.

"He also tried to sell and did sell items that were inside the vehicle," said Detective Lyon.

Detective Lyon also testified Smith, Jr. allegedly picked up two friends in the victim's car and later dumped the car on McCartha Drive.

"We talked to one witness who saw a silver vehicle in the driveway and they saw Gary Smith Junior driving that vehicle. He ran into a fence. He said he didn't see anybody else but he did see Gary Smith driving that vehicle and hitting the fence," said Detective Lyon. 

Smith will remain in custody with no bond. News Leader 9 spoke to his family who declined to comment but did say they are very sorry for what happened to Marylul Poupart.

According to investigators, Poupart recently moved to Columbus from Greenville, GA.  She was a junior majoring in Biology at Columbus State University.

Poupart's friend Nakita James says she will cherish the fun memories of her high school friend."She was so energetic and entertaining. She was always fun to be with. We always had good times. Anytime we spent time with Mary it was always a good time," said James. 

This case has been bound over to Superior Court. News Leader 9 will continue to follow the latest developments in this case. 

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