Home News Local news DEFENDANT IN WOMAN'S ATTACK FACES MORE COUNTS

DEFENDANT IN WOMAN'S ATTACK FACES MORE COUNTS

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March 6, 2003 – Kidnapping and robbery were added to the list of criminal charges including attempted murder against a St. Thomas man accused of breaking into a woman's home, holding her hostage, raping and stabbing her.
Michael Turbe, 20, waived a public reading of the 12-count description of charges filed against him Thursday at his arraignment in Territorial Court.
A day earlier, Harold Willocks, the Public Defender's Office attorney representing Turbe, had filed a motion to have his client's bail reduced, citing a federal law which prohibits courts from using excessive bail as a way to hold defendants in jail prior to trial. Willocks asked that the court allow Turbe to be released on a 10 percent bail bond. The court had yet to rule on the motion as of Thursday.
Bail for Turbe was initially set at $270,000 then raised to $900,000 by Judge I've Swan, who presided last Friday at the defendant's first court appearance in connection with the case. Swan raised the amount after prosecutors added attempted murder to a complaint that already included rape, burglary, assault and auto theft.
The complaint alleges that Turbe broke into the woman's house on Feb. 26, hid in the bathroom and confronted her with a knife when she came home for lunch. Prosecutors say he then raped and sodomized her and, after finding $4 in her pocketbook, forced her to call co-workers to bring money to the house. An individual subsequently did arrive with $1,000, and after that, authorities said, Turbe slashed the victim's throat and repeatedly stabbed her.
The victim had been undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit of Roy L. Schneider Hospital, where tight security had been set up. But she has now been transferred to an undisclosed location for her own protection, according to a friend.
Prosecutors said at Thursday's arraignment that the woman sustained 18 or 19 stab wounds as she fought her assailant, who attacked her with a kitchen knife after taking the money brought by the victim's associate.
Turbe was captured by police after an all-points bulletin was issued several hours after the attack, according to Deputy Police Chief Theodore Carty.
The youthful-appearing defendant, slightly under 6 feet tall, stood with his head bowed before Judge Brenda Hollar, wearing a red prison uniform, his hair in cornrows.
Hollar gave the legal teams a schedule by which to present evidence, file motions and challenge them. She set April 7 as the date by which the government can enter a plea bargain agreement and April 11 as the deadline by which the defendant can change his plea.
In the courtroom Thursday, about 10 women sat silently through the 9 a.m. hearing and then left as the judge called the next case. A short while later, another group of women stood outside the Farrelly Criminal Justice Complex, saying they, too, would have sat in court, but they had been given the wrong time for the hearing.
"We're all victims," said one, who declined to give her name. "It didn't happen to me, but we are all women in the community."

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