St. Maarten Murder: Jamaican suspect in S.C. couple's slaying to be arraigned today

crime scene tape over house and body outline

(CBS/AP) PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - A Jamaican man arrested in connection with the slayings of a South Carolina couple in the Dutch Caribbean nation of St. Maarten will appear before a judge Tuesday as authorities determine whether there is sufficient evidence to keep him custody.

The suspect is scheduled to be arraigned today as prosecutors have three days after his arrest to present enough evidence to a judge in order to prolong any detention without charges. Local law allows for pretrial detention while authorities investigate a crime. 

St. Maarten prosecutors announced Monday evening that the 28-year-old man is the lone suspect in the stabbing deaths of Michael and Thelma King of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Public prosecutors identified the Jamaican by his initials, M.K.J. It is customary in the Dutch islands' legal system to only refer to criminal suspects by their initials.

The Jamaican suspect was "cooperative to a certain extent but was reluctant to answer critical questions," according to prosecutors. He "heavily resisted his arrest, wounding a police officer" during a pre-dawn Sunday operation by law enforcers.

The bodies of the South Carolina couple were found Friday in their beachfront condominium on the tiny Dutch Caribbean territory of 50,000 people.

Authorities said the couple appeared to have suffered fatal stab wounds. The woman was found tied to a chair and the man was lying on the floor, partially over an overturned chair. They were both in their 50s.

Prosecutors said autopsies were conducted Monday, but preliminary results will not be publicly released yet. They expect to release the bodies Tuesday to relatives who have arrived in the Caribbean territory.

A local security company announced that one of its Jamaican employees was the suspect in the slayings. St. Maarten's Checkmate Security condemned the slayings and said it has "cooperated in every possible way with the police authorities to solve this crime."

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