Arrest made in Tarpon Springs motel murder
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — An intensive manhunt for accused murderer Fredrick Bentley came to a conclusion as local law enforcement agencies pulled him from the streets of Clearwater without incident.
The investigation into the homicide of Tarenzo Ladarius Smith, 27, at the Sunbay Motel in Tarpon Springs revealed Bentley, an acquaintance living at the motel, as the prime suspect in the case.
Tarpon Springs Police Department said that Smith and Bentley were involved in a verbal altercation overnight Saturday which escalated when Bentley walked away and returned with a firearm. He allegedly shot Smith at close range then fled the area.
Bentley, 39, was at large throughout the day as Tarpon Springs detectives, along with Clearwater Police Department, Clearwater SWAT and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted their search.
During the course of the investigation, detectives were able to locate the firearm used in the homicide in Bentley’s hotel room on Sunday. They also had information that Bentley was possibly headed to Clearwater.
They found Bentley walking in the roadway at the 1000 block of Magnolia Drive in Clearwater. He was arrested without incident and transported to Pinellas County Jail.