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      Suspect in January murder pleads to lesser charge

      17-year-old Derrick Copelin pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance. He was originally charged with 2nd-degree murder in the shooting death of Dontay Tolston on Jan. 2.

      One of three men suspected of involvement in the January 2 murder of Dontay Tolston has pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and sentenced to time served.

      17-year-old Derrick Copelin was originally charged with 2nd-degree murder in the shooting death of Tolston in the 2000 block of Newton Drive in Columbia.

      Tolston was killed on January 2 during a drug deal, according to statements made to investigators by another suspect in the case, Martrell Smith.

      An aquaintance told investigators that she walked into the apartment later and discovered Tolston lying on the floor suffering from a gunshot wound.