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ARRESTS MADE IN MAN'S BEATING DEATH

Aug. 13, 2001 – Two men were arrested Saturday in the Aug. 5 beating death of another man outside the Frederiksted Kmart store.
St. Croix police arrested Kendall Smith, 30, on Saturday as he sat on a Liat Airlines flight while it was preparing to depart for Antigua. Police also arrested Arthur Stapleton, 30, at another location, according to V.I. Police Capt. Jeremy Swan. Both men were charged with first-degree murder of 25-year-old Hildon Johnson.
Johnson was allegedly killed by Smith and Stapleton after he was attacked with a pipe and thrown through a glass panel at the front of the Kmart store. Soon after the incident, police officials said Johnson had a history of mental problems and was reported to have struck a woman in the face earlier in the day.
Police said the incident unfolded when Johnson walked up to Lisette Cruz and punched her in the face, causing injury to her nose and eyes. He said Cruz left the area and returned with Smith and Stapleton who turned on Johnson, beating him with a pipe before throwing him through the glass panel. Johnson was pronounced dead at Juan Luis Hospital hours after the attack.
After the assault, Smith and Stapleton were detained by police and questioned, then released. They were both arrested without incident on Saturday and are being held on $250,000 bail.

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