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Suspects in Geiger Case Appear in Court

Dec. 1, 2005 — Two men picked up in connection with the circumstances surrounding the murder of St. John resident David Geiger and the assault on his son Nathan appeared in court Thursday.
Tullius C. Stewart was arraigned early in the morning, and pleaded not guilty to charges of grand larceny and possession of stolen property. According to an affidavit filed at the Superior Court on St. Thomas, Stewart, a St. John resident, allegedly took $50,000 from Geiger's house in Estate Grunwald before Geiger was killed on Oct. 29.
Stewart was arrested last Thursday at Cyril E. King airport after turning himself in to local police for the crime. Sgt. Thomas Hannah, police spokesman, said Stewart turned himself in because he did not want to be associated with the circumstances surrounding Geiger's murder.
Geiger, 44, was murdered with a blunt instrument and his bed – where his body was found – was set on fire. Geiger's 14-year-old son, Nathan, was also severely injured. Neighbors pulled Nathan from the house and put out the fire. (See "Suspect In St. John Grand Larceny Arrested, Then Released".)
Judge Brenda Hollar, who presided over Thursday's hearing, said the final dates for filing all pleas and motions is Jan. 9, 2006. Stewart's case will be presided over by Judge Audrey Thomas.
Renell Lettsome—charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, first-degree assault, third degree assault, arson, and use of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence—also had an advice of rights hearing Thursday.
A warrant issued on Nov. 17 said Lettsome, 21, allegedly beat Geiger to death after stabbing him in the neck with a knife. Lettsome then allegedly set Geiger's bed on fire, then attempted to kill Geiger's son Nathan.
Court documents say officers in the British Virgin Islands turned over Lettsome to local investigators in the major crime unit.
Lettsome was arrested on Nov. 29, after he turned himself in to authorities on Tortola Sunday.
At Thursday's hearing, Lettsome was visibly shaking as Judge Rhys Hodge read him his rights, and started to cry when he told Hodge he could not afford to pay for an attorney. Lettsome's mother also shed tears during the hearing, hugged friends and relatives after corrections officers led her son to the jail.
Lettsome's bail—set by Thomas at the time of his Lettsome's arrest—is $1 million.
An arraignment hearing will be held for Lettsome on Dec. 8 at 9 a.m.

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