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Lettsome Murder Trial Gets Under Way

Aug. 7, 2006 – The first-degree murder trial of Rennell Lettsome began Monday in Superior Court with a stream of prosecution witnesses testifying for more than nine hours.
Lettsome is charged with the Oct. 29, 2005, murder of St. John resident David Geiger.
Prosecutor Ernest Bason, chief of the V.I. Justice Department's Criminal Division, described in graphic detail how Lettsome had entered Geiger's home and murdered him.
"This is case of 'home sweet home'," Bason told the nine-woman/three-man jury in his opening statement. "It's about being safe in your own home."
Bason said Lettsome bludgeoned Geiger's 14-year-old son and left him for dead; the boy survived, however, and is still receiving medical treatment for head injuries that Bason said will last his entire life.
While Bason described Lettsome as a "cold-blooded killer," defense attorney Pedro Williams described Lettsome as a "loving father."
Police officers from the British Virgin Islands detailed a confession Lettsome made when he turned himself in to BVI authorities on Nov. 29, 2005.
As the day wore on, Bason's opening statement seemed to be supported by witness testimony.
Bason said he has seven more witnesses to call Tuesday, including two FBI forensic agents who are expected to testify about DNA in blood samples sent by V.I. Police forensic unit Detective David Monoson, who testified at length on Monday.
Bason said the prosecution should finish with its witnesses on Tuesday.
Williams said defense witnesses will begin Wednesday.
Judge Brenda Hollar said the trial should be finished by the end of the week.

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