Jayontay Thomas, 20, was found guilty Monday in the first degree murder with special circumstances of 20-year-old Manteca resident Timothy Michael Spino, 20.
Spino was killed in the Oct. 15, 2015 home invasion robbery and murder in the 200 block of Jessie Street.
When officers and detectives arrived on the scene at about 9 p.m., the victim was found on the floor with a single gunshot to the chest. CPR was initiated by officers and turned over to medics when they arrived after the suspects had fled the home. Several family members and friends were inside the residence when the shooting took place.
During the preliminary investigation, it was determined that the suspects were three black males who had entered through a back door of the residence. Two of the three suspects had their faces covered with shirts, Manteca Detective Sgt. Stephen Schluer said. Spino had confronted the men in the kitchen where a single gunshot was fired.
Jayontay Thomas was convicted at the Stockton Courthouse in a case presided over by Judge William Johnson. He was arrested in April of last year at his home in Cotati. Another suspect, Arthur Thomas, was taken into custody a short time later while standing on his grandmother’s front porch by SWAT officers from Contra Costa County and U.S. Marshals in the city of Fremont, Sgt. Schluer said.
Jayontay and Arthur Thomas were both returned to Manteca and later transported to the San Joaquin County Jail where they were held under $1 million bail.
Getaway car driver Tito Jones, 21, of Antioch, pled guilty earlier to a charge of manslaughter and received an 11 year sentence in state prison.
Thomas showed no emotion Monday when the verdict was read. He could be sentenced to life in prison. The special circumstance charge evolved from the murder being committed in concert with the robbery and burglary at the Jessie Street home. The murder occurred in front of the victim’s girlfriend and their 2-year-old daughter.
Jayontay Thomas was the fourth to be arrested in the case and Arthur Thomas is the fifth and final suspect arrested in the home invasion murder, police said.
Sgt. Schluer said he had obtained a warrant Dec. 29, 2015 for the arrest of Tito Jones, Jr. for murder and had sent out a Critical Reach Flyer to surrounding agencies and jurisdictions. He said that almost immediately he was contacted by the Fremont Police Department’s robbery/homicide unit on Dec. 30 of 2015 advising that they had located Jones in City of Alameda and had arrested him at his job at a grocery store where he worked. Jones was subsequently transported back to Manteca and booked into the San Joaquin County Jail as the third suspect arrested in the case.
Suspects Kenneth Wayne Gatison, Jr., 23, and Ryann Charles Lee Matlock, 19, are from Sacramento and San Pablo – the first and second suspects — had been arrested 12 days after the murder on Oct. 27, 2015 after Manteca police had been contacted by members of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Apprehension Team of their possible whereabouts in the Sacramento area.
The marshals said they had located the suspects’ vehicle and had set up surveillance on the vehicle that drove off in South Sacramento a few hours later with both suspects inside. A high risk traffic stop was imitated by officers on the Consumnes River College campus where both suspects were taken into custody without incident.
The jury trial for the two men is scheduled in May.
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