Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 6:52:35 PM

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Homicide Suspect Found in Fenton

A combination of SWAT teams, streets shut down, and a homicide suspect on the loose that put a quiet Port Crane neighborhood on high alert Wednesday afternoon.

A tense manhunt ended with police capturing a suspect for a murder that happened more than three months ago.

Binghamton police have a suspect in custody in relation to the June 16th homicide of 44-year old Bretnie "Shaw" Owens at 11 Stone Street in Binghamton.

Friends and neighbors to Owens remember him as a good neighbor.

"He was just good all around, a good guy, neighbor," said Ramona Cash who lives on Stone Street.  "You know, everyone speaks, small talk, things like that, and he didn't bother nobody."

Broome County Sheriff David Harder was the one who apprehended the suspect.

Police identify the suspect as Nigel Smith.

Sheriff Harder said he found Smith unarmed, laying down on the floor, hiding in an upstairs bedroom in a home on 17 Pine Street in the Town of Fenton.

Police said no one was home at the time when Sheriff Harder, Bighamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski, and Assistant Binghamton Chiefs David Eggleston and William Yeager entered the home to search for Smith.

Before Smith was taken into custody, Police said they received information that Smith was operating a particular vehicle.

Chief Zikuski said police started to follow the car from downtown Binghamton, but shortly after called off the pursuit in the interest of public safety.

Zikuski said the car was spotted getting off the Exit 3 for Port Crane off of Interstate 88, which then led police and two SWAT Teams to the Pine and Albany street area.

A neighbor told police she saw a black male trying to get into nearby buildings.

"She saw him on the porch behind this building, trying to get in, and when he saw them, he jumped off the porch and over the fence here, and ran towards that house.  I was checking the area, I pushed the door, the door opened and nobody came to the door.  It was pretty obvious he went in there," said Binghamton Chief Joseph Zikuski.

Zikuski said police are looking for one more person, a female who police said was driving the car police were following.

According to police, the car is described as a blue vehicle with Florida license plates.

Anyone with information is asked to call Binghamton Police.

Harder said Smith may be charged with burglary because no one was home at 17 Pine Street when he entered the house.

Keep checking for the latest information as it become available.


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