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Three held without bail in fatal beating over drug deal

Three Buffalo residents were arraigned Monday in Erie County Court on a murder indictment accusing them of fatally beating and stabbing a West Side man last month in an apartment on Grant Street, then hiding his body in an alley nearby.

Kenneth Smith, 37; Mahalia Guest, 21; and Juakeen Glenn, 19, pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree murder in the fatal attack on Rafael A. Martinez, 57, of West Avenue.

The defendants are accused of beating and stabbing the victim Nov. 11 in the apartment where Smith and Guest lived at the time, prosecutors said. Glenn, of Hempstead Avenue, was described as a friend of the other two defendants.

The attack allegedly stemmed from a drug dispute.

The victim’s body was found by a passerby before 8 a.m. Nov. 12 in an alley behind 13 Arnold St. near Grant.

Judge Kenneth F. Case ordered the defendants held without bail at the request of Assistant District Attorney James F. Bargnesi, chief of District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III’s Homicide Bureau.

If convicted, the defendants face at least 15 years to life in prison and at most 25 years to life, Sedita said.