Release Date: January 14, 2013
Incident Type: Follow-up to Robbery Investigations
Contact Person: Steve Sanders, Chief of Police, (575) 763-9416
Clovis – January 14, 2013 – The Clovis Police Department Special Operations Unit in conjunction with members of the 9th Judicial District Major Crimes Unit have been conducting the investigations of two incidences of Robbery. The first Robbery was reported to the Clovis Police Department on January 2nd, 2013 in the area of Stone Place. During this incident, an 82 year-old male was confronted by a suspect, struck in the head with a pistol and robbed of his wallet.
The second Robbery was reported to the Clovis Police Department on January 4th, 2013 in the 1100 blk of Mitchell Street in the alley. During this incident, 61 year-old Joe Garcia was attacked in the alley. He was severely beaten about the head and face. During the attack, the suspect took Mr. Garcia’s wallet and cellphone. Mr. Garcia required medical attention. He was transported to Plains Regional Medical Center and was later transferred to UMC Hospital in Lubbock, TX for further treatment.
O n January 7th, 2013, an ambulance was sent to a home on Gidding Street. Upon their arrival, they found Mr. Garcia to be unresponsive and not breathing. Mr. Garcia was transported to Plains Regional Medical Center where he expired in the Emergency Room. Detectives learned Mr. Garcia had been released from the hospital in Lubbock on January 5th, 2013.
At first, the Clovis Police Department had no evidence linking the two robberies. As the investigation into Mr. Garcia’s case started to unfold, Detectives were able to a link a red colored Ford Mustang as being in the area in both cases. Detectives were able to locate the vehicle and started to investigate the users of the vehicle as potential suspects in both cases.
After conducting several search warrants and a number of interviews, the Detectives were able to indentify 23 year-old Daniel Murrell III, as the prime suspect involved in both the robberies. Detectives also indentified 20 year- old Terrill Smolar as an accomplice in the case.
On Saturday, January 12th, 2013, an arrest warrant was completed for Terrill Smolar for the following charges: Accessory to Robbery and Conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Mr. Smolar was arrested on the warrant and transported to the Curry County Detention Center where Mr. Smolar’s bond is set at $35,000.00.
On Sunday, January 13th, 2013, an arrest warrant was completed for Daniel Murrell III for the following charges: Robbery (2-counts), Aggravated Battery (1-Count), Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, Intimidation of a States Witness, Theft of a credit card, Fraudulent use of a Credit Card, Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Tampering with Evidence. The warrant was served on Mr. Murrell at the Curry County Detention Center where he is currently being held on an unrelated charge. Mr. Murrell’s bond is set at $50,000.00.
The Detectives are awaiting information from the New Mexico Office of Medical Examiners as to whether or not Mr. Garcia’s death can be attributed to the injuries he sustained during the robbery. Until such information is obtained, the investigation is continuing with the processing of evidence and further interviews of witnesses.
At this point in the investigation, there is no other information at this time.
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