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updated 4:02 PM, Jun 10, 2021 America/Chicago

One arrested in murder case

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052021 suspectMUGSHOT Emmanuel Smith

By Tony Farkas

CLEVELAND — Two people have been arrested in the April 22 shooting death of a Cleveland resident.

Emmanuel Smith, 20, a resident of the Porter/New Caney area, was arrested in Montgomery County in connection with the shooting death of Clay Heard. A second suspect, who was not identified at this time, is currently being held in Montgomery County Jail on drug charges.

Detective Gary Sharpen of the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Office said that the two men were found in the Home Depot parking lot in Conroe and were arrested by tactical officers of the Houston Police Department and agents of the Department of Homeland Security.

Heard, who is from Cleveland, was found shot in the head in a ditch in south San Jacinto County, and police began investigating the death as a homicide. Over time, SJCSO detectives, Texas Rangers, Houston Police, Homeland Security and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.

The arrest involved a tactical team because it was believed that the two men were most likely to be armed, Sharpen said.

The case remains under investigation; however, Sharpen said the crime appears to be drug-related.

According to reports, on April 22, at approximately 4:30 p.m., the SJCSO received a call about an unresponsive male laying in the ditch, about two miles down Forest Service Road 201 from FM 1725 in the Cleveland area, deep inside the National Forest.

Deputies arrived and found the victim, who had been shot one time in the head, and then immediately notified the SJCSO Detective Division.

Smith has been charged with first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. He is being held on a $1 million bond.

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