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|Murder suspect booked in Texas|
Murder suspect Michael Kelly Stevens, 41, was arrested in a park in Channelview, Tex., at 1 a.m. Tuesday when Harris County, Tex., deputies spotted a suspicious vehicle parked there after the midnight closing time.
Stevens is the primary suspect in the death of Michael W. Welch, 52, whose body was found in his Myrtle Street home October 4th.
Harris County deputies have charged Stevens with evading detention or arrest. He is expected to be magistrated there Wednesday before being extradited to Concordia where he faces a second-degree murder charge.
Channelview is located in eastern Harris County and is considered a suburb of Houston.
"That's a burden off my shoulders," said Ronnie G. "Tapper" Hendricks, who was working his first murder as Vidalia Police Chief. "This is an enormous relief to have this suspect off the streets. I'm extremely grateful to the Harris County deputies who made this arrest, as well as to Randy Stockman and the Concordia investigators and others who have worked on this case non-stop for more than a week. Hundreds of man-hours have gone into this case. It's vitally important for the victim's family and our community that this suspect be apprehended. I'm proud of everyone who was involved."
When approached by deputies, the suspect reportedly jumped into the Houston Ship Channel and attempted to swim away. He gave up after deputies tossed him a life ring off of a nearby boat, according to Vidalia Police Department Investigator Randy Stockman.
Stockman and Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office Investigators David Hedrick and Jack Fletcher traveled to Harris County to interview the suspect.
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