By Keri Blakinger
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
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
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
He is being held without bond.