Nov. 29, 2005 The 21-year-old St. John man wanted in connection with the murder of David Geiger and the attempted murder of Geiger's son, Nathan, is in police custody, after he surrendered to British Virgin Islands authorities on Sunday. Members of the B.V.I. Police Department took Renell Lettsome into custody when he turned himself in at police headquarters.
A V.I. Superior Court warrant was issued last week for Lettsome's arrest for his alleged role in the beating death of Geiger and the attack on Geiger's son.
According to a release from the V.I. Police Department sent Tuesday morning, B.V.I. authorities had been alerted to Lettsome's potential travel to Tortola.
Elton Lewis, V.I. Police commissioner, has been in constant contact with Reynel Frazer, B.V.I. Police commissioner, the release said.
Lewis said he had been made aware that Mr. Lettsome had been sighted in Tortola.
A B.V.I. weekend newspaper carried Lettsome's picture and details about his being a fugitive from the Virgin Islands, according to a report on ZBVI (780 AM) Monday. Lettsome is currently being held without bail, pending his extradition to the U.S.V.I.
Sgt. Thomas Hannah, V.I. Police spokesman, said Tuesday morning that Lettsome had shaved off his locks before his escape from St. John, in an effort to disguise himself. "He's bald now," Hannah said.
The arrest warrant indicated that Lettsome was wanted for first-degree murder, first-degree assault, third-degree assault, arson and possession and use of a dangerous weapon in the commission of a violent crime.
Members of the VIPD Major Crime Unit and an attorney from the V.I. Justice Department were en route to the BVI Tuesday to coordinate Lettsome's extradition to the Virgin Islands to face the criminal charges lodged against him. An extradition hearing is expected to be held in the B.V.I. Hannah said Lettsome has the right to petition against extradition at that hearing.
On Thanksgiving Day, a second suspect in the case surrendered to authorities at the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas. Tullius Stewart was wanted on grand larceny and possession of stolen property charges in connection with an Oct. 23 incident at the Geiger home in Estate Grunwald.
Police had said that Stewart, who was in California when he called local police, turned himself in because, according to Hannah, "he didn't want any part of what happened afterward," a reference to the Geiger murder.
Stewart reportedly asked the V.I. Police Department to pay his way back to the territory. They didn't, Hannah said.
Stewart, who was released on his own recognizance in an initial court hearing last Friday, is set to return to court for arraignment on Thursday.
On Oct, 29, the 44-year-old Geiger was murdered with a blunt force instrument and his bed, where his body was found, set afire. Neighbors pulled David Geiger's son Nathan from the burning house and extinguished the blaze.
Police are continuing to investigate the incident. Hannah said, "Chapter two is closed, but the book isn't finished."
Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 715-5522, Major Crime at 715-5534 or 715-5546 or emergency 911.