Three JBLM soldiers to stand trial in death of fellow soldier


by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MegCoyleKING

Posted on October 8, 2013 at 5:33 PM

On Tuesday, family and friends of Army Spc. Tevin Geike came face-to-face with his alleged killer and accomplices.

A large bandage covers a sizable cut on the hand of 23-year-old Jeremiah Hill. He reportedly sustained the wound when, he told medics, he "stabbed a guy to death over the weekend" along Pacific Ave. in Lakewood. Bail was set at $2 million.

Hill's face is one Tevin's friends will never forget.

“Hatred, hatred. And at the same time, a mixture of feelings. I felt sorry for him but at the same time I don’t because he murdered my best friend in cold blood,” said Geike’s friend Amy Johnson.

Ajoni Runnion-Bareford, 21, is charged with rendering criminal assistance-- for trying to destroy or conceal evidence. The judge set bail at $250,000.

Cedarium Johnson, 21, is also charged with rendering criminal assistance. Prosecutors asked for a $250,000 bail. But Johnson's attorney disputed any direct role in Geike's murder. 

"It was Mr. Johnson who said to his group hey, these guys are soldiers c'mon let's leave,” said attorney Mark Schwarz.

Johnson's mother flew up from Texas this morning. His fiancé was at her side when the judge allowed Johnson to be released to Joint-Base Lewis McChord on his own personal recognizance.

The decision also drew an emotional response from Geike's friends, in and outside the courtroom.

“I’ve always been their surrogate mom. Tevin was one of my kids. And Hill took the life of one of my kids and this is bull****,” said Kimberly Turnipseed, Geike’s friend.

Three soldiers to stand trial in the death of a fellow soldier-- whose friends and family vow to be there every step of the way.

 “To show our support and our love because Tevin deserves this,” said Johnson. “Everyone in that car had a part and the judge releasing that guy is ridiculous. Everyone’s got to pay the price.”

Lakewood police have backed off initial indications the stabbing was racially motivated. The trial is set to begin December 4.