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Third suspect arrested for home invasion murder
TPD crime scene pic2

A third person has been arrested and charged with murder for the death of a 61-year-old man from injuries sustained in a home invasion robbery in Turlock.

Johnny Bill Smith, 36, was apprehended Tuesday by the Turlock Police Department after being found hiding in a Turlock home. Police had been searching for Smith because he was suspected in the murder of Edward Horton, 61, of Turlock.

Shortly after midnight on Nov. 3, the Turlock Police Department received a call from Horton, in which he said several individuals had just forced their way into his home in the 100 block of Starr Avenue. Horton said he had been assaulted and that the intruders had stolen his cell phone.

Horton was transported to an area hospital, where he remained for more than a week until he died on Nov. 11.

“Mr. Horton had died as a result of blunt force trauma sustained during the attack,” said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Russ Holeman.

Initially the incident was investigated as a robbery and officers had identified a few individuals suspected of taking part in the assault and robbery. After Horton died it became a murder investigation and detectives took over the case.

On Nov. 13, detectives interviewed several people regarding the case and from those interviews gathered enough information to locate Jennifer Smith, 35, of Modesto and arrest her on suspicion of murder.

Patrick Fields, 35, of Turlock had also been identified as a possible suspect in this case and patrol officers were asked to be on the lookout for him. On Nov. 15, a patrol officer located and detained Fields. He was questioned by detectives and then placed under arrest on suspicion of murder.

On Tuesday, Johnny Smith was located at a home in the 600 block of Mitchell Avenue. Investigators had gathered information that the suspect was hiding in the home and the residents gave permission for the home to be searched. Johnny Smith was located in the basement. He refused to surrender to law enforcement until a canine officer and his dog were called to the scene. At that time he gave up and was taken into custody without incident.

All three suspects remain in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail.