Fresno records 1st murder of new year

FRESNO — Police on Wednesday released the name of a murder suspect and the roommate he allegedly beat to death in the city of Fresno’s first homicide case of 2011.

Brandon Summerfield

Brandon Summerfield, 27, was taken into custody Jan. 9 by police in the death of 40-year-old Mark Smedley. Summerfield was with a bleeding Smedley inside their apartment on the 300 block of South Phillip Avenue in the Clovis part of the city.

The incident first occurred around noon on Sunday. A phone call to the police department indicated that strange behavior was going on next to the apartment where the caller lived. Police then responded to the scene inside the apartment, where Smedley was found bleeding to death while Summerfield stood over him.

“It looks like there was a disturbance inside the apartment, which led to the deceased,” said Fresno police Lt. Mike Doyle.

Doyle also confirmed that there were no visible gunshot wounds on Smedley, suggesting no gunplay was involved in the death.

Investigators have indicated that Summerfield suffers from a mental illness. However, a motive in the alleged attack has not been made clear at this time.

This latest incident brings the number of homicides that have happened in the city of Fresno since 2009 to 45. According to FBI documents that were made public back in December, Fresno experienced 17 murders occur in 2009, and then 27 the following year.


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