MARTINEZ, Calif. — Police have arrested a 16-year-old male suspect in the slaying of Pamela Vitale (search), the wife of famed criminal defense attorney Daniel Horowitz (search), a family friend told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Attorney Bob Massi (search) said he was with family members of Pamela Vitale (search) when they were notified that an arrest was made in her killing.
A 16-year-old boy who lived near Vitale and Horowitz's hilltop estate was taken into custody, according to the San Francisco Chronicle and The Contra Costa Times, who cited law enforcement sources on their Web sites.
The Chronicle reported that a source said police believe the teenager killed Vitale by striking her with a piece of crown molding 39 times in the head — and then carved some kind of gothic signature into her back.
The suspect had scratches on his legs and face consistent with a violent altercation when cops arrested him at a relative's house, the Chronicle reported.
The paper, citing anonymous sources, said the motive appeared related to a credit-card theft scheme.
Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jimmy Lee would not confirm an arrest had been made, but a news conference was scheduled for 11 a.m.
FOX News' Andrew Hard and The Associated Press contributed to this report.