Police arrest suspect who allegedly traveled across country to kill man found fatally shot under tarp in 2013

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Source: Butte County Sheriff's Office; Unsplash

Sep. 13 2021, Published 3:49 p.m. ET

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Authorities announced they have identified and arrested a suspect from South Carolina in a nearly decade-old murder case in California.

On Oct. 11, 2013, deputies and detectives with the Butte County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a dead man at a home in Palermo, California, and found a body underneath a tarp. Investigators determined the victim, 42-year-old Lewis Newton of Oroville, was shot to death.

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Then-undersheriff Kory Honea said the crime “was related to a Prop 215 grow,” a California law that legalized the use and cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes in the state, KRCR-TV reported at the time.

There were 40 marijuana plants found on the property, and “to what degree the marijuana garden plays or has a role in the homicide is still being investigated,” Honea said, adding, “There were no other drugs that were found at the crime scene, and the murder weapon is still missing.”

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Over the past five months, authorities in California served multiple search warrants across the state and gathered “additional evidence that gave them cause” to name Matthew Boehm, 36, as a suspect, the sheriff’s office said.

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Boehm allegedly traveled to Palermo to carry out the crime, officials now allege, declining to reveal if the marijuana theory remains a possible motive for the shooting.

Deputies in California obtained an arrest warrant for an open count of murder and last month worked with law enforcement in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, to obtain a search warrant on Boehm’s home after locating him living in the Charleston suburb.

Boehm was arrested and booked into the Butte County Jail on Aug. 10.

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