Columbus County man sentenced to nearly 16 years in prison for murder

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Lakeithy Keller has been sentenced to prison for a 2019 murder (Photo: Columbus County Sheriff's Office)

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Columbus County man has been sentenced to nearly 16 years in prison for murder.

Lakeithy Keller pled guilty to one count of second-degree murder in Columbus County Superior Court and received an active sentence of 15.75 to 19.9 years (189-239 months) in prison.

Keller shot and killed Mitchell Allen Smith in 2019.

The two were together the night of the shooting and drove a route from the Food Lion in Tabor City following Swamp Fox Hwy East, according to a press release. When Detectives questioned Keller about the murder, he admitted to being in the vehicle and changed his story several times about the events that occurred.

“This case was difficult because it was based upon circumstantial evidence,” District Attorney Jon David said. “However, investigators with the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office did a thorough job uncovering what transpired and pieced together the events of that night.”

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