A 21-year-old Sumter County man accused of stabbing his sleeping grandmother to death Thursday before going to the beach last weekend with his mother had his bail lowered to $200,000.
James Giles, of Bushnell, remained in the Sumter County jail Tuesday. He was placed there Sunday on no bail for a first-degree murder charge in the death of 82-year-old Rosa Maresma.
Giles and Maresma lived with Giles’ mother, Gloria Concepcion Maresma-Cheyney, at her County Road 630 home in Bushnell.
According to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, Maresma-Cheyney was away on business in Arizona at the time of the murder but met up with her son Friday at a local, unidentified beach. They were driving home late Saturday night when she said Giles told her Maresma was dead and she called 911 for a well-being check.
Deputies found Maresma late Saturday night, dead and covered with a towel on her bedroom floor.
According to an arrest report released Tuesday, Giles initially told detectives he last saw his grandmother alive the night of June 18 when he told her goodnight — and then awoke Thursday to find her covered in blood.
Giles said he then placed a bandage over the gaping wound, removed the bloody bedding and her night clothing and placed her on the floor so he wouldn’t be confused with the suspect.
However, Giles eventually admitted to detectives that on Thursday morning, he placed a pillow over his grandmother’s face and stabbed her in the chest with a knife as she slept.
Lt. Bobby Caruthers said at that point, detectives read Giles his rights, the suspect requested a lawyer and the interrogation was over.
Officials said Tuesday they still have not determined a motive and there is no history of calls or problems between the grandmother and Giles or mental issues with Giles .
“We’re still trying to determine a motive, but we don’t need one if we can prove he killed her,” said Assistant State Attorney Joe Lipps, who had argued during Giles’s first court appearance Monday for the suspect to remain in jail without bond.
The arrest report adds that bloody clothing belonging to Giles was found in his bedroom and clothes basket and the grandmother’s bloody bedding was in his closet.
The kitchen knife believed to have been used in the stabbing was discovered in a trash can in the garage.
Giles was appointed a public defender who successfully argued the suspect should be given bond in light of having no criminal history.
Caruthers added Giles texted his mother Thursday and said something had happened at the home. But he did not go into detail, citing she would find out when she got home.
The mother’s boyfriend eventually picked up Giles and they met up with the mother at the beach before driving to the Bushnell home.