2nd suspect held in St. Maarten

Michael and Thelma King were found stabbed to death in their condo in St. Maartens in September 2012.

An “intensive” search Monday by St. Maarten police officers yielded a second suspect in the slayings of a Mount Pleasant couple, and island prosecutors wouldn’t rule out future arrests, they said in a statement.

Authorities developed the 17-year-old boy, identified only as J.C.M., as a suspect last week, according to the news release from the St. Maarten Public Prosecutor’s Office.

After weekend-long manhunt, he was arrested around 3:45 p.m. on the streets of the Caribbean island’s Cole Bay area.

The teenager is the second person to be implicated in the fatal stabbings of Michael and Thelma King, whose bodies were found Sept. 19 in their beachfront condo.

The couple, who were part-time residents of St. Maarten, also owned a home in Toler’s Cove in Mount Pleasant and have family members statewide.

Privacy rules prevent St. Maarten authorities from naming suspects, but local media outlets have identified the first person arrested in the killing as Meyshane Kemar Johnson, a 28-year-old security guard.

The Jamaican man is expected to appear in court Wednesday, when a judge will decide whether to allow his continued pre-trial detention. In a similar proceeding last week, prosecutors successfully argued that they have sufficient evidence to keep the suspect behind bars for another week.

Solicitor General Taco Stein has told The Post and Courier that prosecutors have evidence linking the suspect to the deaths. What role the teenager is alleged to have played isn’t known. Neither has been formally charged.

Attempts to contact Stein on Monday were not successful.

The St. Martin News Network reported Monday that the police think the killer was assisted by a juvenile.

Also according to that news agency, Johnson was implicated in the robbery of a restaurant on Sept. 19, supposedly the same day that the Kings were killed. Authorities reportedly found Michael King’s credit cards and cellphone inside the getaway car used in the robbery.

The Kings were described in an obituary as “successful entrepreneurs who enjoyed life together to the fullest.” Michael King planned to start a rum business on the island territory.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.