Not so fast, Hollywood Reporter. The publication ran an “exclusive” declaring that the sensational Ronni Chasen murder case is “now solved.”
However, police told the Beverly Hills Courier that the Reporter got it wrong: The case is still open. Detectives do believe — as they have said since last month — that homeless man Harold Martin Smith acted alone when he allegedly gunned the Hollywood publicist down in Beverly Hills Nov. 16.
Here's what BHPD Lt. Tony Lee told the Courier:
“We still believe the case has been solved and that Martin was the one and only suspect, and we hope the case will soon be closed, just like we said in the Dec. 8 press conference. There is nothing additional or new … I believe the Hollywood Reporter took the chief's comments out of context.”
Here's what BHPD Chief David Snowden told THR:
“That man is the man that shot her, there is no conspiracy, nothing else was involved,” Snowden said. “I know a lot of people don't like to see it end like that — they'd rather have something more dramatic, but that's just the way it is. The facts are the facts.”
Indeed, that's not really declaring the case closed or adding much to what's already been said.
Cops believe Smith, who was a transient in Hollywood, biked over to the west side of Beverly Hills near the Los Angeles Country Club and shot Chase as she drove her Mercedes-Benz E Class coupe down Whittier Drive in an attempted robbery.
It's still a bizarre scenario, as we've written. (Smith, who had been bragging about the murder and money owned to him, killed himself at a funky Hollywood apartment building as police approached).
But it looks like the BHPD is going to shove this one under the covers. Case not officially closed, though.
(We called to talk to Lt. Lee but he was out for training).