Third suspect in Tolston homicide extradited to Boone County

Monday, March 31, 2014 | 7:08 p.m. CDT; updated 6:18 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 1, 2014

COLUMBIA — A third shooting suspect in the Dontay Tolston homicide case was booked into Boone County Jail on Sunday night.

Jimiah Lambert, 20, of Columbia, is one of three men suspected of shooting Tolston, 23, in his apartment in the 2000 block of Newton Drive on Jan. 2. All three are charged with second degree murder.

U.S. marshals found and arrested Lambert on March 6 in New Orleans. He was booked into the Orleans Parish Prison the same day, and his bond was set at $1 million in cash. Columbia police detectives traveled to Louisiana to interview him, and he spent nearly a month awaiting extradition.

Lambert is incarcerated along with Martrell Smith, 20, and Derrick Copelin, 17, of New Orleans, the two others suspected of shooting Tolston. 

Police arrested Smith on Jan. 7 in Columbia. He informed police about Copelin, whom Louisiana police arrested the same day in New Orleans. 

According to the probable cause statement, Smith told police that Lambert went to his house looking for marijuana. Smith knew Tolston sold marijuana and set up a drug deal with Tolston, Lambert and Copelin.

Lambert bought a bag of marijuana from Tolston with cash, according to the statement. As Smith walked to the door of Tolston's house to leave, he said he saw Lambert pull a gun out of his pants. Tolston also pulled out a gun.

Smith said he heard several gunshots and ran back to his car. Lambert and Copelin got into the car with Smith, and they drove back to Smith's house.

The Columbia Police Department issued a news release Jan. 3 with information about the shooting. According to police, officers arrived at Tolston's residence at 11:33 p.m. the day before in response to a shots-fired call.

They found Tolston in the house with serious injuries, and he was pronounced dead in a Columbia hospital at 4 a.m.

Smith has pleaded not guilty, and Copelin will have a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning. Lambert's preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 23.

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