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Smiths man arrested in Auburn student slaying

A Smiths, Ala., man was picked up by Phenix City police Friday and charged in connection with the Tuesday slaying of Auburn University freshman Lauren Burk.

Courtney Larrell Lockhart, 23, was arrested during a routine traffic stop by Phenix City police. He is charged with three counts of capital murder in the robbery, kidnapping and attempted rape of Burk, said Assistant Police Chief Tommy Dawson of the Auburn Police Division.

Burk, 18, was found lying along Ala. 147 on Tuesday night, suffering from a gunshot wound. She was transported to the East Alabama Medical Center, where she died. Burk's 2001 black Honda Civic was later found on fire by police in the Hinton Field parking lot on campus.

Lockhart was being held in the Russell County Jail for a court hearing on Monday. Dawson said Lockhart was developed as a suspect shortly after the slaying. They were trying to figure out who Lockhart was when he was stopped by police, Dawson said during a news conference Saturday in Auburn. Columbus police said Friday that Lockhart was also a suspect in the Thursday robbery of a 27-year old woman with her 3-year-old child in the parking lot of Sam's Club, 5448-A Whittlesey Blvd. The man demanded the woman's purse at gunpoint before driving off in a silver two-door Honda or Toyota with an Alabama license plate, police said. Check for more details in the slaying as they become available.

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