Aug. 2, 2005 — As 27-year-old murder suspect Mitchell Nicholas was being returned to his prison cell at the Bureau of Corrections Monday afternoon, friends of murder victim Georgia Gottlieb reminisced about the jovial, fun-filled woman whose life was snuffed out on Friday.
Nicholas, who made an initial court appearance before Judge Brenda Hollar on Monday, is being held in lieu of $2.5 million bail on a plethora of charges including first-degree murder and illegal weapons possession.
Outside the V.I. Superior Court Monday, Gottlieb's friends recalled their friendship and her life. A top administrator with the National Park Service, Gottlieb was shot to death at her Nazareth home in what authorities have said was a domestic violence incident.
"She was always smiling, full of life," said Marie Wright-Pinney, a friend of many years. "Georgia was so looking forward to her 50th birthday and had asked her friends to help her put the celebration together," another friend, Wilma Philip said. When asked about Gottlieb and Nicholas' relationship, Wright-Pinney and Venus Green said that never did "he [Nicholas] show any violent tendencies…we treated him like family."
Both Wright-Pinney and Green said they were at a loss to understand Nicholas' alleged actions. "He ate and drank at our house, we all hung out together because Georgia was our friend, and Mitchell was her boyfriend … how dare him now take away our friend?" Green said.
Green's fondest memory of her deceased friend came when Green was in Bosnia. My mother was diagnosed with cancer, [and] Georgia took it upon herself to care for my mother and to get her the care she needed all at her own expense."
Wright-Pinney said she felt honored when Gottlieb gave birth to her son, David. "He has always been at the center of her life, he was always with her." Both Wright-Pinney and Green are David's godmothers.
Unable to post bail, Nicholas remains jailed at the Bureau of Corrections on St. Thomas awaiting an August 11th arraignment, when he will enter a plea to the charges before him.
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