Cops: Murder suspect among 3 arrested after breaking into patrol car with deputy inside

The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office said it has arrested three fugitives, including one accused in the 2018 death of his girlfriend after her body was found in a burned car.

Michael Da'Quin Smith, Pharaoh Jihad Johnson and Thomas Edward St. Patrick were all taken into custody last Wednesday on outstanding warrants after allegedly trying to break into an unmarked patrol car, the sheriff's office said.

A Gwinnett investigator was inside the patrol car at the time, the sheriff’s office said. Smith and St. Patrick were charged with entering auto in connection with the incident, officials said.

Smith previously surrendered to authorities in connection with the death of his girlfriend, Adelisa Muratovic, whose body was found in a burning car in Lawrenceville on Oct. 30, 2018, AJC.com previously reported.

RELATED: Warrants issued in case of woman found dead in burning car in Gwinnett

However, he was released back onto the streets a month later on a $50,000 bond, according to Fulton County Jail records.

While out on bond, he’s accused of committing an armed robbery in mid-January of this year, according to the Gwinnett sheriff.

A woman told Gwinnett police investigators that someone grabbed her backpack and pulled her into a car parked in the 2900 block of Paddock Trail on Jan. 13, according to an incident report. Two men in the backseat demanded her belongings, and one pointed a gun at her, she said.

Smith was wanted on charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm in connection with that robbery.

He faces the same number of felonies in Muratovic’s death.

She was already dead of a gunshot wound when her body was set on fire in 2018, Johns Creek police said at the time.

Muratovic, Smith and another man, Deshaun Flournoy, had driven to a Johns Creek apartment complex for a drug deal, police said. Authorities believe Smith and Flournoy may have intended to rob Antoine Sims, Channel 2 Action News reported.

RELATED: Second suspect surrenders after dead woman found burned in Gwinnett

When the deal went bad, gunshots erupted and Muratovic was hit, according to police. Smith told officers that he ran away after the shooting and did not know what had happened to Muratovic or the car.

MORE: Man turns self in after woman killed in N. Fulton, burned in Gwinnett

However, police believe Sims took the car containing Muratovic’s body to Lawrenceville and set it on fire, netting him charges in both Fulton and Gwinnett counties. Her boyfriend was charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The other two suspects arrested Wednesday along with Smith also face multiple charges.

Johnson was wanted on unrelated charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, armed robbery, possession of a firearm or knife and giving false information to police, the sheriff’s office said. Those warrants were taken out in March 2018.

St. Patrick was wanted in Hall County for failing to appear in court. He is also facing weapons charges in Los Angeles County, California.

All three were booked into the Gwinnett County jail.

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