Suspect arrested in shooting death of brother bondsmen

Suspect arrested in shooting death of brother bondsmen »Play Video
Stephen Michael Stewart is arrested Saturday, April 28, 2012, in south Bakersfield on suspicion of killing two bondsmen two days earlier.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The man accused of murdering two bondsmen who were brothers has been arrested in south Bakersfield.

Police took 26-year-old Stephen Michael Stewart into custody Saturday morning near Talisman Drive and South F Street, just west of the Kern County Fairgrounds.

The manhunt began after bondsmen Brandon Nicolas Sims, 26, and Zachary Daniel Sims, 23, were shot to death Thursday night in a southwest Bakersfield neighborhood.

One brother was found dead on the front lawn; the other was found dead inside a home where they tried to apprehend 24-year-old Zachary Adam Perrick, a suspect wanted on drug charges who had skipped bail.

Police believe the bondsmen confronted Stewart and Perrick at Perrick's home, and they believe Stewart shot the bondsmen. Both men ran after the shooting, but Perrick returned and was arrested Friday morning on a warrant charging him with drug possession.

Investigators developed information Friday night on Stewart's whereabouts and surrounded the house on Talisman Drive.

Police said they tried to get Stewart to surrender, but he did not come out.

A SWAT team was called around 7 a.m. Saturday, and Stewart walked out the front door with his hands up around 9:30 a.m., Sgt. Mary DeGeare said.

"SWAT usually becomes involved, especially with a suspect of this level of violence," DeGeare said.

Police said two women and one other man were also in the home. One man, Mario Melendez, was arrested on a federal warrant.

"I'm not sure whether the people inside the house knew that (Stewart) was wanted. We're assuming that they did. But none of them, as far as we're aware, were held hostage or endangered," DeGeare said.

Police described Stewart as an associate of at least one or more people residing in the house on Talisman.