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Dead Chasen Suspect 'Bragged About Killing'

Man told neighbors he was an ex-con who wouldn't go back to jail
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2010 1:23 AM CST

(Newser) – The suspect in the murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen who killed himself as police closed in didn't act much like a professional hit man, neighbors say. The suspect, named as Harold Smith, "had a screw loose," a neighbor tells AP. She heard him bragging about killing Chasen and claimed he was waiting to be paid $10,000 dollars for it. Smith shot himself in the head as police served a warrant at his Hollywood apartment building.

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Another resident says Smith described himself as "an ex-convict" who served time for "firearms and drug convictions," and vowed he'd never go back to prison. Police, who plan to do ballistic checks on the weapon Smith shot himself with, say he "was a person of interest only" and stress that the murder investigation is still open. (Read more Ronni Chasen stories.)

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