Carlos Alberto Medina, 20, the suspect in the murder of Mark Anthony Labonte, 20, turned himself in at the regional jail Thursday evening, ending a four-day search by law enforcement agencies in The Dalles.
A warrant was issued for Medina’s arrest Wednesday after detectives failed to locate him for questioning at home or any of the usual places he was known to hang out. He is the single suspect in the Sept. 9 Labonte homicide and has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Wasco County Circuit Judge Janet Stauffer has set his bail at $1 million cash.
Medina was accompanied by his attorney, Rob Raschio, when he arrived at the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities in The Dalles about 5 p.m. Sept. 13. Waiting to make the arrest was The Dalles Police Detective Jamie Carrico, who was assisted by Officer Andrew Davis and Lori Rosebraugh, a detective with the Oregon State Police.
Medina is accused of recklessly causing the death of Labonte about 9 p.m. Sept. 9 in the parking lot of Fred Meyer. The two men had reportedly gotten into an altercation and Monday’s autopsy on Labonte’s remains revealed that he was killed by blunt force trauma to the head.
The victim was LifeFlighted Sunday night to Oregon Health & Science University in Portland for treatment of his injuries but died about four hours later.
“A lot of work has been done to get this arrest and it’s excellent that the suspect has at least turned himself in,” said Police Chief Jay Waterbury.
Sgt. Dan Nelson from The Dalles Police Department is heading the investigation into the death of Scott Erlenbush, 46, on the night of Aug. 25. Erlenbush, a Dallesport resident, was found dead in the AmeriTitle parking lot off Second Street in The Dalles.
According to the autopsy report, Erlenbush also died of blunt force trauma to the head. However, law enforcement officials say the two murder cases are unrelated and a suspect has not yet been developed in the Erlenbush homicide.
“I simply cannot say enough about how hard our local law enforcement has been working,” said Wasco County District Attorney Eric Nisley. “It is unprecedented to have two unrelated homicides in such short order.
“Chief Waterbury made the decision that both cases must be worked and worked hard. He has appointed two detectives to work exclusively on the Erlenbush homicide and assigned others to focus on the Labonte homicide. Some officers have literally worked around the clock on these cases.”
He said thanks are owed to detectives Nelson, Carrico, Rosebraugh and Shawna Moss, as well as Officer Sean Lundry and the remaining policemen in the department.
In addition, he said Oregon State Police have also put detectives Roberto Robles, Dirk Anderson and Aaron Jackson on the case and the Wasco County Sheriff’s Office has Sgt. Chris McNeel, Jeff Hall and Curt McConnell involved in the investigation. The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office has also provided assistance from Det. Matt English.