Update: Arrest made in west Modesto homicide
MODESTO, Jan 16, 2013 (The Modesto Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Deputies Wednesday arrested a suspect in the shooting death of a teenager in west Modesto earlier this month.
Richard Lionheart Teputepu, 19, was arrested after deputies and members of the Modesto Police Department SWAT team served a search warrant at a house in the 900 block of Snead Drive.
Officers bearing a search warrant arrived at about 8:30 and ordered everyone out of the house. Several people, including children, came out of the house, Stanislaus County Sheriff's Sgt. Anthony Bejaran said. Teputepu didn't come out immediately, but eventually left the house and was arrested without incident.
The Jan. 2 shooting in the 900 block of Leon Avenue took the life of Marty Kent, 17. Deputies responded to a call in the early evening of shots fired at the home. When they arrived, they found Kent lying near the doorway.
Bejaran said Teputepu is not the only suspect in the case. He did not describe Teputepu's role in the shooting.
Last week, Modesto police took David Hodge into custody after a search near Eisenhut Elementary School. Sheriff's detectives talked to Hodge and determined he was a witness in the case.
At the time, Bejaran said investigators were looking for Ryan Joseph Melton, 28, and Demaris Hunter, 33, both of Modesto, in connection with the homicide. It wasn't clear if detectives believed Melton and Hunter were suspects or witnesses.
On Wednesday, a memorial with flowers, stuffed animals and an Oakland A's cap had been erected at the house on Leon Avenue, which is less than a half-mile from where Teputepu was taken into custody.
Micah Savage, Kent's sister, said she didn't recognize Teputepu's name.
Upon learning Teputepu's age, Savage said, "It's just really sad. He's 19 and my brother is 17. It's senseless."
Savage said her family appreciates the continued efforts of authorities to close the case.
"They've continued to be diligent, and really done well with our family," she said. She also said the family has received a lot of support from the community.
Savage and her family are planning a "Walk 4 Marty" to commemorate his life and others lost to violence. It's tentatively scheduled March 16, with the location to be determined.
The walk will be free to participants and open to anyone.
"It's just something to honor victims, especially our brother," Savage said. "We want to show that this happens but we don't forget."
Arrest made it West Modesto homicide
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