Officers of the V.I. Police Department on Wednesday arrested 56-year-old John James Natta and charged him with murder in the homicide/arson case that took place Jan. 23 at Estate Mandahl.
Natta was arrested at 4:25 p.m. on a warrant issued by Superior Court Judge Denise M. Francois.
Charges against Natta include first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault, unauthorized possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of the first-degree murder, unauthorized possession of a weapon during the commission of the second-degree murder, unauthorized possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of the assault and first-degree arson.
The incident occurred slightly after 8 a.m. Jan. 23. A 911 call reported residential fire in Estate Mandahl. The V.I. Fire Service dispatched two units from the Lima Company in Tutu and suppressed the fire. Afterwards, officials found the body of 54-year-old Merle Natta in the kitchen area, with signs of trauma to the body unrelated to the fire. They ruled the incident a homicide.
No bail was set for John James Natta.