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Second suspect charged with capital murder in Spring chef slaying
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By Keri Blakinger
Houston Chronicle
Thursday, March 9, 2017

A second man has been arrested in the September slaying of a popular Spring chef who was gunned down during a home invasion. 

Ryan Scott, 27, of Kemah, was arrested Sunday on a capital murder charge, according to court records. Another accused assailant, John Wesley Baldwin, 28, was charged with capital murder in October. 

"I am glad they caught the second guy and hope this will bring his family and our community some closure," said family friend Nick Rama.

AFTERMATH: Spring restaurant to close after chef murdered 

Sunny Side of the Street chef Michael Kusuma, was killed Sept. 18 when two armed men stormed his Canvasback Glen Court home and demanded money.

Just after 9:30 p.m., bandana-wearing robbers shot Kusuma and assaulted his younger brother. The pair fled in a white car, with an undisclosed amount of cash. 

A family friend speculated at the time that the Kusumas were targeted because of their successful eatery. But after the killing, Kusuma's uncle was forced to close the place. 

FIRST SUSPECT: Arrest made in slaying of Spring chef 

"As soon as I heard the news, I knew," Tony Kusuma, the uncle, said in September. "Mike was the business. He was the primary chef, he managed the place. I just don't think I can find anybody capable of running the business the way he did."

Now, Rama said, the building has been leased to a steakhouse. 

The 33-year-old cook and baker was born Indonesia but moved stateside to attend college and live out the immigrant dream.

After earning business and culinary degrees, he helped his uncle run a bed-and-breakfast in Maine.

In 2013, they decided to relocate to Texas, setting up shop in an FM 2920 strip mall. Once the upscale eatery blossomed into a successful business endeavor, Tony Kusuma moved to California, leaving Michael and his younger brother to run the restaurant.

Over time, Michael grew into part of the fabric of the northern Harris County town. He attended a local Catholic church and was a regular on the area's martial arts scene. 

"We lost a big person in the community," Taco Crave owner David Posadas said in September.

After his death, a makeshift memorial of flowers and balloons sprung up outside the shuttered cafe. 

At first, authorities offered only a scant description of the wanted suspects. For a month, the killers ran free as investigators tracked down leads. 

Then in October came the first breakthrough when authorities collared Baldwin, who has a long list of prior charges ranging from terroristic threats to aggravated robbery. 

He was indicted in December and remains in the Harris County jail without bond.

Scott was picked up by Houston police earlier this week on a charge of possession of less than one gram of Ecstacy, then was charged the next day, while he was still in jail, in the suburban slaying.

The Kemah man has a string of prior arrests dating back to at least 2008, when he and a group of other assailants lured four men into a Lincoln Green East backyard, forced them to strip to their underwear and stole more than $2,000.

Scott initially got deferred adjudication, a form of probation. But he was later sentenced to five years in prison was arrested in a store robbery.

He is being held without bond.

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