Atascadero man arrested in stabbing death of motel worker

acornejo@thetribunenews.comAugust 24, 2011 

An Atascadero man was arrested in connection with the stabbing death of a Paso Robles motel employee earlier this week.

John Wesley Barrett, 41, was arrested by Paso Robles investigators at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday at his home in Atascadero.

Barrett is accused of assisting with the planning and killing of the 55-year-old Paso Robles man, who was found dead in his room at the Farmhouse Motel on Monday.

The victim, whose name is being withheld by the Sheriff’s Department until authorities are able to contact family members, was stabbed multiple times in the front torso, according to police. He was found dead in his room at 4:30 p.m. Monday, up to 12 hours after he died in the room he is said to have lived in at the motel.

The victim worked at the motel as a maintenance man or groundskeeper, according to authorities.

Detectives are still searching for a man whom they have named the main suspect in the case, 32-year-old Alfonso “Poncho” Fierros. Police say Fierros knew the victim.

Barrett was booked into County Jail on Wednesday on suspicion of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Investigators say Barrett is a friend of Fierros’ and allegedly conspired to kill the victim. The motive for the killing is still being investigated.

Investigators are seeking the public’s assistance with locating Fierros, who is described as Hispanic, 5 feet, 6 inches tall with dark hair. He was last seen driving a late 1980s to early ’90s Ford Ranger extended-cab pickup.

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.

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