Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- After a year, and following a two week trial, Marcus Bailey was found guilty of murdering 26 year old Almanita Smith in 2012.
Smith's body was found outside her home in the Lake Shore subdivision on August 23rd, 2012. Smith had been dead days prior to her body being placed in the front yard.
Previous Coverage: Body Found in Northeast Columbia
Previous Coverage: Man Charged With Murder
Previous Coverage: Almanita Smith Remembered
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Almanita Smith was a Columbia College grad, who had achieved a Masters in Education, and had plans to pursue a 2nd Masters in another field.
Head of Columbia College's education division, Dr. Chris Burkett, told News 19 "She had already given so much to our community and to everyone around her, and had the potential to give much more."
Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson says "A verdict like this sends a clear message. These types of brutal and heinous acts will not be tolerated in our community, and I am pleased with the verdict in this case."
Following the examination of 37 witnesses over almost two weeks, jury deliberations lasted only 3 hours before returning a guilty verdict.
Marcus Bailey was sentenced to 50 years in prison.