LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The Long Beach Police Department has arrested two men for the 1995 cold case slaying of a 60-year-old man.
Renato Teniente was murdered on November 22, 1995 while sitting in his car in the 2600 block of E. 55th Way.
Police responding to a shots fired call found Teniente sitting in the driver’s seat, parked at a curb, with the ignition still running.
He received a gunshot wound to the upper torso and was declared dead at the scene.
The victim, who was working at the time as a Pizza Hut delivery man, had gone to the location to fill an order.
Police theorized that when Teniente got back into his car to leave, he was approached by two male subjects who attempted to rob him.
Detectives worked to name two suspects but said the case went cold when witnesses failed to cooperate.
The case was reopened last year.
Detectives have named the suspects as 35-year-old Venda Johnson (also known as Trevon Washington), and 34-year-old James Lemon.
The case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on September 4. The DA has filed attempted robbery and murder charges with special circumstances against both defendants.
Defendant Johnson, who was 17 at the time of the murder, is already incarcerated at Buena Vista State Prison in Colorado on a life sentence for murder. A former Compton resident, Johnson is awaiting extradition.
Defendant Lemon, who was also 17, was located and arrested in Las Vegas Thursday morning by a FBI task force. Lemon, who lived in Long Beach at the time of the murder, is currently being held at the Clark County Jail without bail, and is also awaiting extradition.
Detectives believe there are additional witnesses to this crime, and are hoping they will come forward. Anyone with information is urged to contact Long Beach Police Homicide Detectives Todd Johnson and Roger Zottneck at (562) 570-7244.
KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo spoke to the victim’s daughter Thursday evening via FaceTime.
After 18 years, Ressie Teniente admitted she started to lose hope her father’s killers would ever be found.
For the detectives she said, “I have a lot of thank yous, that’s all I can say.”
The detectives on the case called to say the murder had been solved.
Teniente said, “I was just shocked. I didn’t even know they were working on [the case.]”
Of the suspects, Teniente says, “They didn’t have to kill my dad. I know he would have given them his money. He was only carrying 20 bucks.”
After her father was killed, Teniente said she also lost her grandmother and mother — both grief-stricken around the same time.
When the two suspects face trial, Ressie tells Fajardo she will be there — from her home in Northern California — to let the suspects know how much her family suffered because of their act.