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Second man takes plea in 09 murder
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Another man accused of the 2009 murder of Andrew “Drew” Nichols pleaded guilty Monday to lesser charges in the case.

Samuel Dumas Dawkins, 49, took a guilty plea on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine, concealing the death of another, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and theft by receiving.

In motions heard by Judge Samuel Ozburn in 2010, investigators said they believed Nichols had been taken to Dawkins’ home on Deer Trail in Oxford, where he was held in a shed on the property and beaten and shot there, before being transported to Walton County where he was found on Dec. 6, 2009.

Dawkins was initially charged with murder, concealing the death of another, aggravated battery, possession of firearms or knife while trying to commit crimes, kidnapping, aggravated assault, possession of Schedule II narcotic with intent, possession of methamphetamine with intent, theft by receiving stolen property and trafficking in methamphetamine.

By pleading to lesser charges, he received 20 years in prison to serve 10 before being eligible for parole.

District Attorney Layla Zon had recently charged Dawkins and Robert Vincent Lambert in new Walton County indictments, which she plans to dismiss since they both took plea deals in Newton County.

Tonya Owneby, 35, who lived in the same home as Dawkins when the murder took place, was also initially charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, trafficking in methamphetamine or amphetamine, theft by receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

According to Zon, Dawkins claimed the drugs found in the home, and subsequently charges against Owneby have been dismissed.