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Teen indicted on murder charges in slaying of CSU student

A Muscogee County grand jury has indicted a local teen on murder charges in connection with the killing last summer of a Columbus State University biology student. Gary Jamaricus Smith, 16, faces charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and theft by taking.

He’s accused of choking to death 21-year-old Marylul Poupart, a junior biology student.

A number of questions remain regarding the circumstances of Poupart’s death, but detectives have said she was called to Smith’s home on Sidney Drive on the morning of July 12. Investigators said Smith got the woman’s number from a friend.

According to police, Smith admitted to panicking and choking Poupart after an argument inside the home. Police have not elaborated on why Poupart was at the house.

The teen allegedly left the house in Poupart’s Cadillac Deville and attempted to sell some items in her car, the basis for the theft charges. A witness told police the teen was behind the wheel when the car struck a fence in front of the home.

An investigation showed Poupart’s body was dragged outside to the backyard and covered with a sheet. Smith’s mother later discovered it, but the teen was not home at the time. Police have said Smith may have been watching the authorities from a nearby church, where he was picked up later that evening.

Poupart, of Greenville, Ga., was a 2009 graduate of Columbus High School. Friends said she had been excited about her studies at CSU and wanted to work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta after graduation.

In an unrelated case, grand jurors also indicted Deandre R. Harris on charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault in connection with a shooting on March 17. Police said Harris allegedly shot a man in the arm near the Marathon Trailer Park on Marathon Drive.

Harris also was indicted in connection with a June burglary of a home on Wise Street.

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