Sheriff captures homicide suspect after chase

By Conor Mooney
By Candace Chapman
By Jillian Marshall

September 25, 2013 Updated Sep 26, 2013 at 5:17 PM EDT

Town of Fenton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Broome County Sheriff David Harder took a homicide suspect into custody following a car chase on Wednesday that started in Binghamton.

As of Thursday afternoon, Nigel Smith, 44, of Endicott was in the Broome County Jail being held on a parole violation. No further charges had been filed yet.

Wednesday, authorities were looking for a blue car that was believed to be connected to the case.

The car was later spotted exiting off Interstate 88 in the town of Fenton where area law enforcement agencies responded.

The man exited the car and then fled on foot into Ruth Morenus' home at the corner of Pine and Albany streets.

"I knew they were up here mostly around my house, but nobody would tell you anything, they wouldn't let me come up here or anything," Morenus said.

Police entered the home and found the suspect in an upstairs bedroom. It was Harder who took the unarmed man into custody.

Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski identified the man as Nigel Smith, who is a suspect in a homicide that detectives began investigating on Stone Street this past summer.

"The sheriff, myself, my two assistant chiefs and a couple state troopers went in, where the sheriff located him in an upstairs bedroom hiding," said Zikuski.

"As soon as I found him, I told him to stay where he was, hollered down to the other officers who were in the building. They came up and we had a short struggle with the subject and he was taken away to the Binghamton Police Department at this time," said Harder.

According to Action News archives, Bretnie "Sha" Owens, 44, was found dead June 15 in an apartment at 11 Stone St.

Morenus has lived in her house for decades and says she's not scared of anyone getting into her house.

"I've lived here for 23 years and nothing ever happened like that before," Morenus said.

Area police are still looking for the woman driver of the blue car with Florida license plates. She is described as white, heavy-set and last seen with her hair in a pony tail.