3 SUSPECTS HELD
IN FATAL SHOOTING OF DEPUTY SHERIFF
by Bill Hazlett L.A. TIMES 4-20-79
Three suspects were in custody early today and another was being hunted in the fatal shooting of a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy and the wounding of another.
James Leroy Noble, 23 was arrested in his apartment at 1449 E. 115th St. and jailed in the Lynwood Sheriff's Station in connection with the killing of Dep. George Barthel, 32 and the wounding of Dep. James Hollingsworth, 26, late Thursday. Deputies later arrested Clarence Robinson, 21 on suspicion of murder after he surrendered to officers at the Los Angeles Police Department's 77th division. The Third suspect, Gary M. Huybbard, 20 was booked on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance (drugs) after he was arrested near the shooting scene.
Investigators said another 21-year old man surrendered at the Lynwood Sheriff's station late Thursday night but he was released after questioning. Sheriff's investigators said uniformed deputies, both wearing flack vests, were shot down as they approached a group of five men in the Nickerson Housing Project.
As the deputies neared the group, investigators said, they saw one man toss something into a nearby clump of bushes. Sheriff's Lt. Charles Elliott said Hollingsworth, told investigators he was shot while picking up one of two vials of PCP that had been thrown away by one of the five men. Hollingsworth was wounded in the face and side by fragments from one of the first shots fired. As he reached for his service revolver, Hollingsworth told investigators, he heard a second shot and saw Barthel bleeding. The wounded deputy said he heard three more shots as he tried to shield Barthel with his body while retreating to the patrol car. Neither deputy managed to return the fire as the suspects ran off in several directions, Elliott said. Barthel was struck in the face and side areas not protected by the flak vests worn by deputies, and investigator said. Both deputies were taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood where Barthel died in surgery shortly before 8 P.M. Hollingsworth was reported in good condition today following emergency treatment.
The two deputies were assigned to the Sheriff's Special Enforcement Bureau, a unit detailed to combat street crimes such as assaults, muggings, purse snatchings and similar offenses.