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Suspect in slaying at Clearwater motel arrested in Minneapolis

CLEARWATER — A little more than a year after a man was beaten to death in a Clearwater motel room, a suspect in the slaying has been arrested.

Ryeneil Ozene Daniels, sought by police in connection with the slaying at the Clearwater Palms Motel, was arrested in Minneapolis, Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said Friday. Daniels, 31, will be extradited to face a second-degree murder charge here.

Police say Daniels is a suspect in the murder of Charles Edward Harris, 44, who died as a result of strangulation and blunt trauma after a fight in Room 106 at motel, the 1735 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd., in March 2008.

Harris of 915 Nicholson St. in Clearwater checked into the motel about 3 a.m. on March 16, 2008, and was scheduled to check out at 1 p.m. March 17. When he didn't check out, motel staffers went to the room and couldn't get in. They called firefighters, who forced open the door and found the body.

Detectives identified Daniels of 1412 Taft Ave. as a suspect, according to Watts. They suspected he had fled to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota, so they applied for an arrest warrant and worked with the Minneapolis Police Department.

Minneapolis homicide detectives arrested Daniels on Wednesday. He has had numerous prior arrests on charges of possession of cocaine, dealing in stolen property and other offenses.

Harris had a lengthy arrest record, too.

He was one of six siblings, the son of Doreatha Harris Moore, 86, and the late Albert Moore.

When contacted Friday, two of Harris' sisters said they didn't know Daniels and didn't know that he had been arrested in the slaying of their brother.

"All right!" said Patricia Lewis of Clearwater, who will be 53 on Sunday.

"If he killed him, he should be punished," said another sister, Mary Thompson, 67, of Clearwater.

Harris was a good person, Thompson said, and had a lot of friends.

"He loved his mom," she said, "and his mom loved him."

Theresa Blackwell can be reached at tblackwell@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4170.

Suspect in slaying at Clearwater motel arrested in Minneapolis 04/17/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 17, 2009 9:02pm]
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