Nearly 18 years after Renato Teniente was shot to death on a Long Beach street while delivering pizza, detectives found his alleged killers -- one serving life for murder in Colorado, another living quietly in Las Vegas.
James Lemon and Venda Johnson were just 17 when the pair allegedly confronted Teniente on East 55th Way as he sat in the driver's seat with his engine running on Nov. 22, 1995, said Long Beach police Sgt. Aaron Eaton.
The 60-year-old had just returned to his car after delivering a pizza when the two young men attempted to rob him. They shot him in the upper body and left him for dead.
On Thursday, Lemon's morning routine in Las Vegas came to an abrupt halt when an FBI fugitive task force took him into custody for the nearly two-decade-old killing.
His alleged accomplice was easier to capture. Johnson, also known as Trevon Washington, is incarcerated at Buena Vista State Prison in Colorado on a life sentence for murder. He is awaiting extradition.
The pair escaped capture all those years ago despite being identified as the possible suspects. At the time, detectives could not gain witness cooperation and the case eventually went cold.
Long Beach's cold case team last year reopened the case and detectives re-interviewed witnesses and reexamined the evidence.
They developed new evidence connecting the now 35-year-old Johnson and 34-year-old Lemon as the perpetrators.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office earlier this month charged the pair with attempted robbery and murder with special circumstances.
Lemon was being held at the Clark County Jail without bail, also awaiting extradition.
Though Long Beach homicide Dets. Todd Johnson and Roger Zottneck have made the arrests, they are looking for more information to bolster the case.
Anyone with information may call (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), texting TIPLA plus the tip to CRIMES (274637), or visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org.