26-year-old East Palo Alto man arrested in Los Banos homicide

A 26-year-old suspect from East Palo Alto has been arrested in the homicide of a Los Banos man who was found dead in his residence Thanksgiving Day.

Los Banos police have identified Washington Richmond as a suspect in the death of Timothy James, and he's expected to face murder charges. State parole agents arrested Richmond on unrelated charges in San Mateo County on Dec. 17. He's is expected to be transferred from San Mateo to Merced County next month, police said.

Police haven't released a motive for the crime, or said whether the victim knew the suspect.

James was discovered on the floor of his apartment in the 1100 block of D Street. Police responded to the scene at 6:29 a.m. He was pronounced dead soon afterward.

At first, police said the victim suffered a suspicious injury on his body. A few days later, an autopsy revealed James' cause of death to be blunt-force trauma to the head.

The incident was the third homicide in Los Banos this year. In August, brothers Ruben Sanchez, 34, and Angel Rodriguez, 30, were shot to death in the 500 block of I Street near Club Azul. Two suspects in that case were arrested Wednesday in New Mexico.

A total of 14 homicides have been reported in Merced County this year.

Managing Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.