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Speeding trips up murder suspect

Arrested in Tennessee in connection with Manteca orchard killing

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Speeding trips up murder suspect

Taylor Michael Henthorne

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POSTED September 20, 2012 12:43 a.m.

A 22-year-old Lathrop man wanted for a murder that occurred in an almond orchard east of Manteca shortly after 2 a.m. July 2 was arrested Saturday morning following a highway patrol pursuit for speeding in Jefferson County, TN.

Taylor Michael Henthorne had been the focus of Manteca officers and Sheriff’s deputies since the shooting death of Andrew Spino, 23, of Manteca. Spino had been shot twice near an irrigation canal on Highway 120 about six houses west of Jack Tone Road.

Henthorne was taken into custody by a lone trooper with the help of a White Planes city officer after he attempted to flee on foot from officers seconds after he crashed into a ditch on Highway 113.  The trooper told the Associated Press that Henthorne had turned around and drove toward the pursuing officers before he lost control.  A registered gang member, he had the word “Norte” tattooed over his left eye. 

The murder suspect led Tennessee officers on a short foot chase before he was finally apprehended.  A police records clerk checked for any warrants for Henthorne and found one out of San Joaquin County that had charged the Lathrop man with murder.

The morning of the July shooting Sheriff’s deputies had cordoned off the rural Manteca crime scene with yellow tape and ordered in a police helicopter to search for as many as three suspects in darkness.  One suspect, Jay Loren Prater, 31, later turned himself into deputies and was also charged with Spino’s death, a Sheriff’s spokesman said.  The rural residents were told to keep their workers out of the fields in the area, since police did not know if any suspects might still be hiding in the area.

The Lathrop fugitive was also charged in Tennesse with driving under the influence, resisting arrest, evading arrest, and reckless driving.

Prater is in custody in the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp without bail.  He is charged with being armed with a firearm during a felony, and with willful, deliberate premeditated murder along with being an accessory after the fact.

Spino reportedly had young sons.  A friend said that his girlfriend is now trying to provide for those little boys on her own and, while she gets support from Andrew’s family it is difficult to provide for all the financial needs.

Prater’s next court appearance is set for Oct. 17 at 8:30 a.m. at the Stockton Courthouse.

Henthorne is being held without bond in Tennessee pending extradition to California.

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