Renell Lettsome, the only person arrested in relation to David Geigers murder who remains in prison, was offered a plea deal on Friday, March 17, according to Ernest Bason, criminal divison chief for the V.I. Attorney General in the St. Thomas/St. John district.
Bason would not reveal the terms of the plea deal offered to Lettsome, who is accused of bludgeoning the St. John businessman to death and severely injuring Geigers teenage son before setting their house on fire to cover up the crime.
I offered the plea today, but I will not share the informtion right now, Bason said. Its not going to be accepted or denied until after the suppression hearing, which has not been scheduled.
Its part of the processI have to offer Renell a plea, Bason said. I know that he is not going to plead guilty at this time because he has to wait for the suppression motion.
In a move that came as no suprise, Lettsomes attorney filed a motion to suppress the statement the 21-year-old murder suspect made to V.I. Police Department officials after his arrest, Bason explained.
This happens regularly, said Bason. I knew that it was coming.
Motion To Join Cases Filed
Bason filed a motion on March 10 to join three of the four cases related to the murder.
I want to join the three defendents, Nester Colaire, Robert Ferguson and Renell Lettsome together, instead of having three different trials, he said. Its judicial economy; you dont want to bring down all of the different witnesses on three different occasions.
It is all the same series of events, Bason continued. This does not include Tullius Stewart, who is accused of crimes that occurred two weeks before.
V.I. Superior Court Judge Brenda Hollar will decide on the motions to suppress and to consolidate, added Bason.
I have no idea when a decision will be made, he said. I have to respond to the suppression motion and then the judge will probably hold a hearing on both the suppression motion and the motion to join. But I dont know when that will be.
12 Criminal Counts
Lettsome is charged with 12 criminal counts, including murder in the first degree, attempted murder in the first degree and arson in the first degree. He allegedly fled the territory after the October 29 murder of Geiger, a long-time St. John resident, attempted murder of his teenage son, Nathan, and arson of Geigers home.
The murder suspect turned himself in to police on Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, and was extradited to the U.S.V.I. on November 30. He remains in prison pending a $1 million bail.
Three other suspects arrested in relation to the case have been relased from the correctional facility on St. Thomas.
Nestor Colaire and Lettsomes half-brother, Robert Ferguson, both charged with attempted murder, arson and being an accessory after the fact, were released from prison along with Tullius Stewart, who is charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen propety.
Ferguson, 19, was arrested along with Colaire, 18, on Dec. 12, when the two returned to the territory from Florida. The two men are accused of returning to Giegers house with Lettsome and setting the house on fire, leaving the unconsciuos Nathan inside.
Ferguson and Colaire Released
Ferguson, who was charged with attempted murder, arson and being an accessory after the fact, was originally held on $75,000 bail. He was released from jail in January on a $45,000 unsecured bond, according to Bason.
Ferguson was released to his father, who is acting as his third party custodian. He does not have a curfew, but must check in with the VIPD once a week, Bason explained.
Colaire, who is also charged with attempted murder, arson and being an accessory after the fact, was released from prison on February 6 on an unsecured bond. He was also previously held on $75,000 bail.
Colaire Under Curfew
Colaire was released into the custody of his aunt and mother. He must be in his mothers home from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. nightly, and must report to the VIPD daily, according to Bason.
Stewart, 29, was arrested on November 24, when he returned to the territory from California, and was charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property. He is accused of stealing a large amount of money from Geigers house while Amber TaylorLettsomes girlfriendwas house-sitting.
Stewarts bail was dropped and he was released on his own recognizance before Superior Court Judge Leon Kendall on Nov. 25.
Much of the prosecutions case reportedly relies on Taylors affidavit. In the lengthy affidavit, Taylor recounts the events leading up to the October 29 murder and Lettsomes admission of the crime. Taylor, a one-time Coral Bay resident, has not been seen on St. John since November.
Bason would not comment on Taylors whereabouts or whether she will be charged with a crime in relation to the murder. The trials have not been scheduled.