Man convicted of murder in Lemont stabbing pleads guilty to drug charges

mcarroll@centredaily.comNovember 21, 2012 

A 21-year-old man convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing a young man in Lemont was back in Centre County court Tuesday.

Tyler Marlatt pleaded guilty Tuesday to drug charges and was sentenced to serve two years and seven months to five years in prison. The sentence will run concurrent to his life sentence in the stabbing death of 20-year-old Tyler Struble in January.

A Centre County jury found Marlatt guilty of second- and third- degree murder, robbery and other charges at trial earlier this month. The second-degree murder charge carried a mandatory life sentence.

Prosecutors alleged Marlatt tracked down Struble at the Lemont home to reclaim drugs or money just minutes after Struble drove off without paying Marlatt’s girlfriend in a drug deal gone wrong in State College.

His girlfriend, Fatima Ghoul, previously pleaded guilty to robbery and drug charges and is awaiting her sentencing.

While investigating the stabbing, police served a search warrant at the home of Marlatt and Ghoul and found more than 30 grams of marijuana and smaller amounts of synthetic marijuana and prescription pills.

Marlatt and Ghoul faced separate charges stemming from the search. Marlatt’s defense attorney, Ed Blanarik, successfully argued that the drug charges should not be admitted as evidence for his client’s murder trial.

Marlatt pleaded guilty Tuesday to the separate charges of possession with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Centre County District Attorney’s Office.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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