COLUMBUS, Miss. – (WCBI A Columbus man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for killing his estranged girlfriend. 42-year old Joe Earl Smith entered the guilty plea Tuesday afternoon in Lowndes County Circuit Court. Smith was sentenced to life without the possiblity of parole for the August 2010 beating death of Linda Snell. Smith and Snell had a tumultuous and violent past. The Saturday before her death, Snell was sent to the hospital after the two got into a fight that turned physical. Snell was found dead the following Monday in her Cypress Park Apartment. Smith was arrested a few days later in Brooksville.