Suspect held in slaying of South Carolina couple on St. Maarten

A judge in St. Maarten has issued a detention order for a Jamaican security guard suspected of killing an American couple at their vacation home in St. Maarten, reports AP. 

Meyshane K. Johnson, 28, was being held on suspicion of fatally stabbing Michael and Thelma King of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Johnson appeared in a closed door hearing in court Wednesday. 

His defense attorney, Brenda Brooks, told CNN that Johnson maintained his right of silence and said nothing. Johnson has not been formally charged and denies killing the couple. 

Solicitor General Taco Stein told AP that the magistrate ruled there was enough evidence to hold Johnson for at least 10 more days while police finish their investigation. If prosecutors want to hold him longer they must return to court and seek another order.

Johnson is currently being held on preliminary charges of murder/manslaughter, robbery and embezzlement, according to CNN. 

CBS reports that the couple, both in their 50s, were found stabbed to death in their beachfront condo in Cupecoy, St. Maarten on Friday. Thelma King was found tied to a chair and her husband was lying on the floor.

A business partner told CBS that he and Michael King were building a rum factory together on the island. 

The FBI reportedly offered their services to police and prosecutors in St. Maarten. 

“This offer was kindly accepted and both police and prosecution are now discussing with FBI where the help could be most effective,” Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos said in a statement to AP Wednesday night.

“It is likely that some investigation will have to be conducted in the USA," he said.