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Murder suspect had relationship with slain director of East Hollywood theater

January 5, 2010 |  6:28 pm

A man who police said had a romantic relationship with a longtime director of an East Hollywood theater has been arrested in connection with his murder, Los Angeles police officials said today.

Jose Fructuoso, 25, of Los Angeles is being held in lieu of $1-million bail in connection with the fatal stabbing Saturday of 59-year-old Bennett Bradley at his Mid-Wilshire-area apartment, according to Los Angeles police.

Detectives initially believed that Bradley had been the target of a robbery but after further investigation they found that the suspect and victim had known each other for years and had been in a romantic relationship.

Bradley had worked at Fountain Theatre for 16 years and had become its public face, largely managing its box-office operations but also known as a talented director and producer.

The theater is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and Bradley was directing 2010's first production, "The Ballad of Emmett Till," which is scheduled to open next month.

The show is based on the real-life story of a black teenager whose murder helped spark the civil rights movement. It was seen as an important production for the theater and for Bradley.

-- Andrew Blankstein