Turlock

Third suspect arrested in November beating death of 61-year-old man in Turlock

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A third person has been arrested in connection with the beating death of a Turlock man.

Johnny Bill Smith, 36, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of murder and conspiracy. His sister, Jennifer Corrine Smith, 35, and their friend, Patrick Ryan Fields, 36, were arrested a few days after the victim, 61-year-old Edward Horton, died in November.

Police said the suspects on Nov. 3 forced their way into Horton’s home on Starr Avenue in Turlock, assaulted him and stole his cell phone. He was taken to a hospital and died a week later as a result of blunt force trauma.

Turlock Police Sgt. Russ Holeman said the suspect knew the victim. He said investigators are not releasing what motivated the attack but said the theft of the victim’s cell phone was not the primary reason they went to his home.

Johnny Smith has been wanted since the arrest of his co-conspirators.

Investigators got information Tuesday that he was at a home in the 600 block of Mitchell Avenue in Turlock, Holeman said. Residents gave detectives permission to search the home and they found Johnny Smith hiding inside.

Erin has been covering breaking news and crime at The Modesto Bee since 2010. She is a Humboldt State graduate and resides in Oakdale.

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