published Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Police arrest suspect in Cleveland, Tenn., homicide and hotel fire

  • photo
    Russell Brown, 36, is the subject of warrants for aggravated arson is wanted for questioning in the Cleveland slaying.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Cleveland police have arrested a suspect in a New Year's Day hotel fire and suspected homicide at a Days Inn.

Russell Brown, 36, is now in custody at the Bradley County Justice Center. He was arrested by a Cleveland Police Officer, Bill Parks, at 12:04 a.m. on January 2 at 1821 Twinbrook Drive SW in Cleveland.

Harold Lee Montgomery, 39, of Cleveland, was found in room 117 by Cleveland firefighters responding to a fire call at the Days Inn, 2550 Georgetown Road, city police spokeswoman Evie West said.

West said Montgomery was wounded by a sharp-edged weapon similar to a knife. Firefighters tried to save him but he died at the scene, she said.

Police believe the killer slashed the victim, set the room afire and fled in Montgomery's car, a black Volkswagen Cabriolet with a white top.

When the fire was discovered, hotel staff evacuated other guests and no one was injured, West said.

She said police don't yet know the motive for the attack.

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