Sept. 15, 2006 – Rennell Lettsome will be sentenced Monday at 3 p.m. in the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Brenda Hollar. Lettsome was convicted in August of second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder in the death of David Geiger and the near fatal beating of Geiger's son, Nathan.
Lettsome was charged with the Oct. 29, 2005, St. John murder of contractor David Geiger and the brutal beating of Nathan Geiger, whom Lettsome had left for dead before setting their home on fire. (See "Jury Returns Second-Degree Murder Conviction in Geiger Trial").
The weeklong trial was short but intense, with a steady stream of witnesses including Geiger's neighbors, British Virgin Island and V.I. Police officers, Lettsome's mother, FBI blood and DNA experts, and 14-year-old Nathan Geiger.
Along with the first two charges, Lettsome was also found guilty of using a deadly weapon during the commission of second-degree murder; third-degree assault; using a deadly weapon during the commission of third-degree assault; first-degree arson; and using a deadly weapon during the commission of first-degree arson.
Though Lettsome will not receive a life sentence for the crimes, prosecutor Ernest Bason said Lettsome was "looking at a lot of years."
Bason, chief of the V.I. Justice Department's Criminal Division, and co-counsel, Assistant Attorney General William Kelly Evans, said they were satisfied with the trial's outcome.
After the verdicts were read, Bason said, "I'm happy with the result. There were lots of things to consider and they did their best on a hard job. There were 73 exhibits. It was very, very difficult." ?
Bason said, "Lettsome is going to get some years, definitely some years. The two arson charges alone are 20 years each."
Bason said the minimum for second-degree murder is five years. ?"The maximum for that charge is not life," Bason said, "but the judge can determine the years beyond that." He said the maximum for third-degree assault is five years. ?
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