3 suspects arrested in Nov. motel murder

LAWRENCEVILLE -- All three suspects in a November murder outside a local motel are now in custody, the final one recently detained several states away.

Eric Kendall Smith, 30, was found dead in a breezeway of the Homestead Extended Stay in Peachtree Corners early on the morning of Nov. 16. Witnesses reported hearing at least four gunshots, and Smith -- whose identity was initially released as Eric Marshall -- died as Gwinnett County police officers arrived on the scene.

According to arrest warrants for the three men accused of killing him, Smith, who was staying at the Jimmy Carter Blvd. motel by himself, was robbed of marijuana and cash.

Over the months since Smith's death, three suspects -- Courtney Tremaine Smith, Chrissharnard Stewart and Terry Tyrone York -- have been detained one by one.

Courtney Smith, a 21-year-old Morrow resident, was arrested Dec. 3 on separate charges of keeping a place of prostitution and giving false information. He was released on bond in Gwinnett but transferred to Clayton County authorities for violating his probation there.

He was still in custody on Jan. 31, when Gwinnett County police issued arrest warrants charging all three suspects with murder and armed robbery.

Stewart, 22, of Forest Park, was tracked down and detained on Feb. 6. Authorities had to go out of state to find York.

Warrants listed York, 29, as a resident of Junction City, Kansas, but Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith confirmed this week that he had been found and arrested recently in the state of Virginia. Further details about his arrest were not immediately available.