South Bay Police Cross City Lines for Arrest

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Hartford police officer under investigation for the beating of a suspect took his first steps toward retiring.

    Police arrested a 23-year-old San Jose man Sunday in connection  with a murder at a Santa Clara apartment complex Friday.

          Kevin Anthony Garcia is suspected of killing 37-year-old Hollister  resident Ralph Steven Lerma at about 6:15 p.m. Friday at an apartment complex  located at 1495 Don Ave., according to police.
         
    Garcia was arrested by Santa Clara police in San Jose at about  8:20 p.m. Sunday and booked into Santa Clara County main jail.
         
    Officers found Lerma in a hallway in front of an apartment door,  police said. By the time officers arrived, the suspect had escaped.
         
    Investigators believe the Garcia and Lerma knew each other and  were visiting a woman who lived at the apartment, police said. While they  were there, they began arguing and Garcia allegedly stabbed Lerma with a  knife, police said.
         
    Garcia is expected to be arraigned in Santa Clara County Superior  Court on Wednesday.
         
    Police are also investigating a separate homicide that occurred  earlier in Friday at the St. Francis Motel. The murders do not appear to be  related, police Lt. Phil Cooke said today.
         
    A man was found dead at about 10:20 a.m. at the motel, located at  2222 The Alameda, Cooke said.
         
    Cooke said the murders are isolated incidents, but added it's  unusual for two homicides to occur in one day in Santa Clara.
         
    They were the city's first homicides this year.
         
    Anyone with information about either case is asked to call the  Santa Clara Police Department at (408) 615-4700.