Bail denied for stabbing suspect
A judge on Wednesday denied bail for a man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death.
Court records indicate that Tasha Lucia was beaten with a hammer in addition to being stabbed in the chest on Sunday.
The accused man, Robert Tilghman Kronsberg, previously begged Charleston police to take him to jail after threatening to harm himself with a knife during an argument in May at their James Island home, authorities said.
Lucia called police May 29 after her boyfriend, Kronsberg, threatened suicide. She and a friend had removed two knives from the Encampment Court apartment to keep him from cutting himself, a report states
Kronsberg told officers he was worried Lucia was being unfaithful.
He denied wanting to harm himself but talked of a stint in a psychiatric hospital and showed officers a 7-inch scar on his arm from a previous suicide attempt, police said.
Kronsberg told police he just wanted to go to jail this time. For what, they asked him. “Anything, just get me out of here,” a police report quotes him as saying.
When officers tried to convince him to go to a hospital instead, Kronsberg pulled out a container of marijuana and a pipe and asked if that was enough to get him arrested, police said. It was, and police hauled him off to jail. That incident ended peacefully. But a much different scene greeted police when officers visited the couple’s home Sunday.
Officers said they found Kronsberg, 30, asleep on a blood-spattered bed and his 25-year-old girlfriend dead in another room with a large knife protruding from her chest. Kronsberg is now charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He was scheduled to have a bond hearing Tuesday, but it was postponed because he was still hospitalized in intensive care, court officials said.
Exactly what Kronsberg is being treated for is unclear. He was found at the scene with a 3-inch cut on his left wrist, but police also noted he had “wild eyes,” a high pulse rate and was mumbling unintelligibly.
Police spokesman Charles Francis referred questions about Kronsberg’s ailments to Medical University Hospital officials, who would not release information on his condition. Kronsberg worked as a cook at Paisano’s Pizza, just around the corner from the apartment he shared with Lucia. Owner Nick Skover said Lucia often would stop by the restaurant as well. He described her as “a really sweet girl.”
Skover said the couple had a tumultuous relationship, and Kronsberg was clearly upset when Skover last saw him on Sunday. Skover said he didn’t feel comfortable saying what was bothering Kronsberg.
“We were all caught off guard by this,” he said. “It’s just a tragedy. Our hearts go out to Tasha’s family and Tilghman’s family.”
Police said Sunday’s incident played out this way:
Two of Lucia’s co-workers went to the couple’s apartment around 5 p.m. after she failed to show up for work. After no one answered the door, one friend boosted the other through a window in an attempt to find Lucia.
The friend heard snoring from one bedroom and found Kronsberg asleep. When she asked him about Lucia, he mumbled an unintelligible reply.
She went to another bedroom and found Lucia covered with a sheet. She pulled the sheet back and saw that Lucia was covered with blood, a large knife protruding from her chest.
The friend quickly fled the home and called police.
Kronsberg was still asleep when officers arrived. They found him lying on a blood-spattered bed with a bottle of vodka, marijuana, a bottle of ibuprofen and a knife beside him on a bedside table. He was shirtless with blood on his chest, abdomen and pants and a cut on his left wrist. When officers ordered him to put his hands behind his back, Kronsberg sat upright with “wild eyes” and began muttering nonsensically. They handcuffed him and walked him outside, where he was strapped to a gurney.
When asked if he had done any drugs, he replied, “Coke.” Paramedics also noted he had an extremely high pulse rate.
On Tuesday, a sign hung on the front door of Locklear’s Beach City Grill, where Lucia worked as a bartender, with Lucia’s picture and the message: “In loving memory of Tasha Lucia, whose life was tragically cut short due to domestic violence.”
A man who answered the door of the restaurant said the place was running on a skeleton crew because Lucia’s friends were too grief-stricken to come to work. He declined further comment, saying no one was ready to talk about her death just yet. Bouquets of flowers lay on the front porch of the couple’s apartment, left by well-wishers who ducked under the yellow police crime scene tape that still surrounded the single-story, tan duplex.
Neighbors said they didn’t know the couple and had nothing to say about the killing. “People keep to themselves around here,” one man said before closing his door.
On Kronsberg’s Facebook page, which features a bloody chain saw scene from the film “American Psycho,” his friends posted messages expressing love and support for him. One also had this message: “Though it might be a while, please look forward to the day when you will experience freedom from the inner demon that seems to sabotage happiness for yourself. That day will come.”