One suspect in baseball bat murder caught
The Yuma County Sheriff's Office, with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service, arrested one of the two suspects wanted in connection to last month's bludgeoning death of 33-year-old Kendal Smith.
According to spokesman Capt. Eben Bratcher, YCSO investigators took Jonathon Roger Ochoa into custody at about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday. Ochoa, 27, was found at a residence in the 500 block of South Madison Avenue.
“We continued to develop leads throughout the course of the investigation and one of them led us to this address,” Bratcher said.
At about 9:13 p.m. on April 18, deputies were dispatched to the 2500 block of 15th Place in reference to a disturbance involving six subjects armed with baseball bats.
Deputies were on scene in less than nine minutes, only to find Smith with blunt force trauma to the head. He was taken unconscious to Yuma Regional Medical Center and later transferred to St. Joseph's Medical Center in Phoenix.
All of the suspects had fled the scene before deputies arrived. A bloody baseball bat, however, was recovered in the area.
A second suspect, Manuel Bustamante, is still being sought. Bratcher said investigators believe he has fled to Mexico. Bustamante is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, 185 pounds, with a shaved head.
Anyone with information about this case or the location of Bustamante is asked to contact YCSO at 783-4427, or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.