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Grand Jury indicts 3 in murder of Homero Arteaga

10:20 AM, Aug 24, 2012   |    comments
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Haines City, Florida -- This month's murder of a Haines City man has led to formal murder charges.

Grand jurors in Polk County say there's enough probable cause to indict three suspects arrested earlier this month on charges of trying to rob a Haines City man and fatally beating him.

During a joint investigation, Polk County Sheriff's detectives and Haines City Police detectives arrested two men and one woman in the homicide of 36-year-old Homero Arteaga.

According to the affidavits, on Monday, Aug. 6, Arteaga's's mother found him deceased in his Haines City home when she went to check on him after days of not hearing from him.

Haines City Police officers arrived on scene and found Arteaga's in his bedroom. Reports say it was obvious at that time that Arteaga's was the victim of a violent and suspicious death.

An autopsy came to the conclusion Arteaga died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries to his head and his manner of death was ruled a homicide.

Polk County Sheriff's Officials and Highlands County Police Department detectives worked together following up leads on the case and identified the suspects, 31-year-old Christopher Mason Batchelor, 45-year-old John Wesley Barrett, and 25-year-old Jenny Leigh Holmes of Bartow. A fourth suspect, Dana Wise was later caught by detectives in connection with Arteaga's death on Aug. 8.

Police say Holmes and Wise drove Batchelor and Barrett into Arteaga's neighborhood and dropped them off one street east of the house. They say Batchelor and Barrett walked to Arteaga's house, and broke in while armed with a metal pipe.

Detectives say the suspects entered the home, found Arteaga sleeping in his bed, struck him in the head with the metal pipe, and began ransacking the house.

Reports say they told detectives that each time Arteaga "woke up" they would strike him again.

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