Two American men will be getting an extended stay in the Bahamas after they were charged in connection with the brutal killing of a Berks County man.
Tyler Michael Valles, 19, of Key Largo, Fla., and Robert Francis Schwarz, 62, of Gaylordsville, Conn., were arraigned Tuesday on manslaughter charges in the Bahamian capital of Nassau, police said.
"They were very subdued as they walked into court, very subdued and quiet," said Fern Carey, a reporter for ZNS-TV, who sat in on the hearing.
The two men stand accused of stabbing Carl Yerger to death at the Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina on the island of Bimini, about 150 miles from Nassau and 50 miles off the coast of Miami.
Yerger, 45, of Ruscombmanor Township, was found stabbed to death early Friday morning at the resort, said police.
Carey told 69 News during Tuesday's hearing that the attorney for the two suspects argued Yerger's death was an accident.
"Their lawyer explained in court the victim was reportedly drunk at the time he came onto their boat," said Carey.
According to investigators, Valles and Schwarz were crew members on a boat docked at the resort where Yerger was staying.
Carey said Tuesday's hearing revealed Yerger was on that boat and was asked to leave, but later that night he reportedly came back on board.
"During that time, a struggle ensued between the victim and the two defendants," said Carey.
Two other men who were detained after the killing last week have since been released pending further investigation, said Asst. Commissioner Emrick Seymour, Royal Bahamas Police Force.
The four men were crew members aboard a boat that was docked at the resort's marina, where Yerger, 45, of Ruscombanor Township, was staying on business, police said.
Investigators have not yet come up with a motive for the killing except that it happened during a confrontation between Yerger and the group of men.
Yerger, who served as president of the Oley Valley Youth League, leaves behind a wife and two young sons.
Funeral services have been scheduled for next Wed., March 26, at 11 a.m. at Frieden's United Church of Christ, 337 Main St., in Oley. Visitation will take place at the church starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday and from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Tuesday.
The family has established a scholarship fund for Yerger's two sons. Contributions can be sent to Customers Bank, c/o Ty & Tate Yerger Scholarship Fund, 1 Hearthstone Court, Reading, Pa. 19606, or dropped off at the bank in Exeter Township.