South Lake Tahoe man accused of killing roommate with piece of firewood |

South Lake Tahoe man accused of killing roommate with piece of firewood

James Cleveland

A South Lake Tahoe man is in custody for allegedly killing his female roommate with a piece of firewood.

South Lake Tahoe officers initially responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon in the 1100 block of Carson Avenue around 2:45 p.m. Saturday. Initial reports said a man was hitting a female with a large object, according to police.

When officers arrived they found 65-year-old Valorie Turley in front of her residence with significant head injuries.

James Cleveland, 71, also was found at the scene and quickly detained without incident.

Turley was transported to the emergency room at Barton Memorial Hospital and then flown via Calstar to Renown Medical Center in Reno. She later died from her injuries.

Investigators determined Cleveland and Turley were roommates and that Cleveland acted alone in the alleged assault, according to police.

Witnesses reported seeing Cleveland hit Turley with a piece of split firewood.

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the attack. The case remains under investigation.

Cleveland is currently in the El Dorado County jail on charges of murder with no bail.

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department asks anyone with information regarding the incident to call the detective division as 530-542-6100.

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