Murder investigation leads arrest of ninth suspect, a Hamilton man


Published March 15, 2024 at 3:08 pm

Niagara Detention centre.
The Niagara Detention Centre.

A Hamilton man has become the ninth person arrested in a Niagara Region murder investigation.

A man, 52, was found without vital signs in the Niagara Detention Centre jail around 6:30 a.m. on June 10, 2023. First responders attempted CPR but ultimately declared him dead at the scene.

The following February 21, two men were charged with second-degree murder;

  • Jeremy Lowes-Kennedy, 19 of Welland, and
  • Kelvin Justin Bascus, 39 of St. Catharines

On Feb. 23 police announced a further five arrests in connection to the killing on the same charges;

  • Joshua LeBlanc, 29 of Welland
  • Tyler Pelikan, 23 of Welland
  • Shaun St Denis, 44 of Welland
  • Ju-Ron Fertilien, 23 of St. Catharines, and
  • Zachary Durant, 28 of Niagara Falls

Next another suspect, Julio Zari-Torres, 44 years of Pelham was arrested March 1, again on a second-degree murder charge.

Most recently, on March 15, the ninth suspect, Eric Smoke, 25 of Hamilton, was arrested for second-degree murder. Smoke was already in custody for another crime at the time of his arrest.

Police have not identified the victim in the case or disclosed the details of his death.

Anyone with information about the case can call 905-688-4111, #3, ext. #1009533.

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