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Update on Incident at 6405 West Bellfort

June 29, 2006 -- A suspect has been arrested and charged with capital murder in the robbery and shooting death of Joel Portillo. This murder occurred at 6405 West Bellfort at 5:50 a.m. on June 26, 2006.

Houston Homicide Division investigators Sergeant J. Binford and Officer M. Miller report:

On June 26, 2006, at approximately 5:50 a.m., Mr. Joel Portillo and his father were the victims of an armed robbery. While leaving for work, Mr. Portillo was approached in the common area of his apartment complex by an armed gunman who shot Mr. Portillo in the chest after demanding money. Mr. Portillo died at the scene.

During the investigation, homicide investigators interviewed witnesses to this murder who provided information regarding the vehicle used by the suspect. Investigators located the vehicle on June 27, 2006 and information was obtained from the vehicle occupants that led to the identification of the suspect. This suspect was arrested by homicide division personnel on the evening of June 27, 2006 and positively identified by witnesses to this murder.

Charged with capital murder in this case is:

Melvin Joseph 'Bookie' Johnson (b/m 08-19-78)

Johnson is charged in the 185th District Court under cause # 1074760 and is being held in the Harris County Jail with no bond. Johnson, a former resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, has recently been living in various apartments in southwest Houston.


For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division a 713-308-3200.