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Newton jury finds Monticello man guilty of 2020 murder
Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr. Judicial Center
The Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr. Judicial Center - photo by Courtesy of Newton County

COVINGTON, Ga. — A Newton County jury on Thursday found a Monticello man guilty of Murder and other charges related to the death of a woman in her Covington home in mid-2020.

Alex Khalil Smith, 27, was convicted Thursday in Newton County Superior Court on charges of Malice Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm During a Felony, said District Attorney Randy McGinley.

The charges were related to the July 8, 2020, shooting death of Cassandra Arnold, McGinley said in a post on Facebook. 

A pre-sentence investigation was ordered and sentencing will be set for a later date, McGinley said.

Smith, 27, of Monticello, was charged with Murder after Newton County sheriff's deputies found the 32-year-old victim with multiple gunshot wounds at her residence on White Birch Drive in Covington.

Information on a warrant stated the incident was related to a drug transaction in which Smith believed the victim had cheated him out of money he was owed. 

It stated he went to the victim's home and waited for her to arrive before shooting her twice.

McGinley said Senior Assistant District Attorney Bailey Wilkinson, Senior Assistant District Attorney Alex Stone, Deputy Chief Investigator Jill Lumpkin, Victim Advocate Shay Payne, and Legal Assistant Cami Odom prosecuted the case. 

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office led the arrest and investigation with assistance from the District Attorney’s office and the GBI crime lab, McGinley said.