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Broome Sheriff Finds Homicide Suspect In Fenton

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Broome County sheriff David Harder found a man wanted in a Binghamton homicide investigation hiding in a Port Crane house Wednesday afternoon.

Harder says the suspect, who police identified as Nigel Smith, was located after a pursuit that started in the city of Binghamton.

Smith was being sought in connection with the death of 44-year-old Bretnie Owens, whose body was discovered in his apartment at 11 Stone Street on June 15.

Harder told WNBF News Smith was chased up the Brandywine Highway into the village of Port Crane.

The suspect was seen running through some back yards near the New York State Police crime lab on Park Street.

The sheriff said his agency, along with Binghamton police and state police established a perimeter around the area where Smith was believed to have fled.

Harder said Binghamton police chief Joseph Zikuski found an unlocked door at a house on Pine Street.

Harder said Harder entered the house with Zikuski and two Binghamton assistant chiefs. They started to search the home and Harder discovered Smith a second floor bedroom.

Harder said the suspect was hiding between two beds. The sheriff said immediately yelled for assistance. Then, he said, Smith jumped up and started to “fight with me a little bit.” He said “we took custody of him by struggling, getting him down on the floor and getting him handcuffed.”

Harder said none of the law enforcement officers was hurt, nor was Smith injured.

Smith was in custody just before 2:30 p.m. He was taken to Binghamton police headquarters for processing.

Harder, who has been in law enforcement for nearly a half century, said it’s been years since he personally apprehended a homicide suspect.

The sheriff said he was glad “to have him in custody” and he was happy there were no injuries.

Police were continuing to search for a woman who was with Smith in the car that was being pursued. They say she fled the scene.

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