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October 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM

3 JBLM soldiers arrested in fatal stabbing of fellow soldier

Spc. Brian Johnson, a friend of slain Spc. Tevin Geike, 20, of Summerville, S. C., relights a candle at the side of the road at 12500 block of Pacific Highway South in Lakewood Monday afternoon,  the place where Johnson was stabbed to death Saturday.  Johnson was with Geike when he was fatally stabbed. (Photo by Ellen Banner / The Seattle Times)

Spc. Brian Johnson, a friend of slain Spc. Tevin Geike, 20, of Summerville, S.C., lights a candle Monday afternoon in the 12500 block of Pacific Highway South in Lakewood, the place where Geike was killed Saturday. Johnson was with Geike when he was fatally stabbed. (Photo by Ellen Banner / The Seattle Times)

UPDATE 1:30 P.M.|  Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said the three suspects arrested in connection with the Saturday fatal stabbing of a Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier are expected to be charged and make an initial court appearance Tuesday.

Prosecutors are still reviewing information in the case, but Lindquist said there’s a clear indication “there was only one individual who stabbed the victim.”

The roles of the other two men arrested in the case are not clear, Lindquist said.   Prosecutors need to know more about what the two other men did before they can decide on the appropriate charge, Lindquist said. All three were booked into the Pierce County Jail early Monday.

Previous post:| Three suspects, all soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, were booked into the Pierce County Jail early this morning on investigation of murder in connection with Saturday’s fatal stabbing of a fellow soldier from the base.

Lakewood police said one of the suspects is 23 and two are 21.

The victim was identified Sunday as Spc. Tevin Geike, 20, of Summerville, S.C., an aviation operations specialist and a member of the 7th Infantry Division. He entered the Army in October 2010 and arrived at JBLM in April 2011.

In a news release, Lakewood police said that race is not believed to be a factor in the attack.  Over the weekend, police had said they were investigating the case as a possible hate crime.

Police say the 23-year-old suspect is believed to have stabbed Geike, and his motives are not known.

On Sunday, police had said Geike’s companions told police the assailant had been in a car in which someone had yelled something about Geike and his companions being white.

In a news release this morning, Lakewood police said the arrests came after they were contacted Sunday afternoon by an Army sergeant who said he had information on the stabbing.

The sergeant said another soldier had been asked by the 23-year-old suspect for first aid for a knife wound on his right hand. The man allegedly said he had injured himself when he fatally stabbed someone.

Later, that suspect told the soldier he had cut his hand while chopping vegetables. And after the sergeant took the 23-year-old to Madigan Army Medical Center for treatment, he told hospital staffers he had cut his hand on a parachute cord, police said.

Separately, another person believed to be involved in the attack was brought in by police for an interview. He told detectives that he was in a vehicle with four of his friends driving on Pacific Highway when words were exchanged between men on the street and the people in the car, police said.

He said they stopped to talk to the victims, but nothing happened once they discovered they were all active duty soldiers.

But as the suspects were walking back to their car, the soldier said the 23-year-old suspect appeared to “bear hug” the victim and pushed him to the ground. That suspect was covered in blood when he got to the car, the soldier told police.

 

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: homicide, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Lakewood

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