Murder Trial Portrays Tale of Two Soldiers

Marcus Bailey highlights domestic violence issue in SC


By Monique Williams

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- The trial of Marcus Bailey is in its second day. He is accused of killing Almanita Smith at her Northeast Columbia home last August. This case brings light to an ongoing problem in South Carolina, officials say - domestic violence.

Former army soldiers, Marcus Bailey and Almanita Smith met while serving in Iraq in 2008, according to Bailey's attorney. That's nearly four years prior to her August 2012 murder at her Richland County home and Bailey going on trial this week for killing her. Smith's mother tells ABC Columbia "she helped him," referring to Almanita giving Bailey a place to stay after he arrived in Columbia. The victim's mother also revealed to ABC Columbia text messages she says came from her daughter months before he death: "He (Marcus Bailey) screwed up big time...lied about who he was and everything." In a separate text, "I'm done," implying her relationship with Marcus Bailey was over.

Family and friends say Almanita Smith was last seen alive August 16. Her decomposed body was discovered a week later, prosecutors say, at the hands of Bailey, at Smith's home on Heron Glen Drive. Bailey's defense team says evidence will not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that their client is guilty.

The trial portrays the tale of domestic violence Rebecca Williams-Agee with the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, says, is all too common.

"We often ask why the victim didn't leave, didn't get out, instead of asking why this person is perpetrating violence because that's illegal. That's the conversation that needs to be had."

Bailey's attorneys say the trial could last until late next week. If their client is convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

For more information on domestic violence awareness call SCCADVASA at 803-256-2900.

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