The Puerto Rican man accused of killing an Ohio tourist is being held on a $1.3 million bond following his court appearance late Saturday.
Homicide police said in a Sunday statement that Juan Carela Acevedo, 21, has been charged in the fatal stabbing of 41-year-old Brett Walquist of Beavercreek. They announced his arrest on Saturday after Acevedo was apprehended by police while staying at a friend's home in a public housing complex.
Police say Walquist was killed on Dec. 30 when an assailant broke into his family's vacation apartment complex in Rincon, a western beach town that attracts surfers and divers from around the world. Walquist apparently walked in on the intruder in the kitchen and was stabbed at least three times during a struggle in the middle of the night.
Before the intruder fled the apartment, Walquist's wife, Gerry, rushed and grabbed the attacker, but he managed to escape through a window. Neither she nor the couple's two children were injured in the attack.
Acevedo is being held in the Guerrero jail in Aguadilla after he appeared before Judge Jose Morales Colon. Acevedo is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated burglary, destruction of evidence and a weapon's offense.
In a video posted on the newspaper website, www.elnuevodia.com, Acevedo apologized to the Walquist family while he was being escorted by police Saturday.
"It was a mistake of my life that I made," Acevedo is quoted saying. "If the family sees this, that you forgive me, I didn't want to do this."
Brett Walquist's brother, Brian, said his family was not prepared to respond to Acevedo's comments, adding "I will share that (Acevedo's comment ) with his widow, his dad and his sister."
Walquist, his family, his father Carl, and his sister's family spent the holiday vacationing in Puerto Rico. The Walquist were scheduled to leave 3 p.m. Dec. 30.
Efforts to contact Acevedo's defense lawyer by phone on Sunday were unsuccessful.
Walquist worked in Beavercreek as the Midwest representative for J&B Importers, a national wholesale distributor of bicycles, parts and accessories. He previously worked in his family's business, Alger Bikes in Grand Rapids, which is now run by his brother.
The Walquist family will receive visitors from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Stroo Funeral Home in Grand Rapids, Mich. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at Ada Bible Church in Ada, Mich.
Memorial contributions for Walquist's two children can be made at one of the services, any Macatawa Bank location or online at www.youcaring.com/BrettWalquistFund.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
By Sharahn D. Boykin - Dayton Daily News, Ohio
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