A murder suspect and convicted sex offender says he woke up after smoking marijuana with the Rev. Ed Everitt to find the Catholic priestâ€™s head in his lap and being fondled. Less than half an hour later, he says, he fired the shots that ended the manâ€™s life.
Waveland police investigator Eddie Peterson testified today at the probation hearing for Jeremy Manieri that the suspectâ€™s recorded statement to Polk County, Fla., authorities gives a detailed account of what led up to Everittâ€™s death earlier this month.
Manieri told Florida investigators on July 12, the day after Everittâ€™s body was found at a Waveland beach house used as a retreat by the Hammond, La., priest, that Everitt picked him up July 10, they ate lunch at Silver Slipper Casino and then went to a convenience store and bought rolling papers before returning to the South Beach Boulevard home.
â€œThey hung out, drank, smoked some marijuana,â€ Peterson said Manieri told Florida police.
Manieri said he passed out and woke up with Everittâ€™s head in his lap and that Everitt was fondling him, Peterson said.
Peterson went on to recount Manieriâ€™s statement to Florida authorities, saying Manieri went outside for 15 minutes, smoked a cigarette, went back upstairs to Everittâ€™s bedroom and grabbed a weapon identified as a .380 semi-automatic. Manieri said in his statement that he attempted to shoot the priest several times in the living room, but â€œcouldnâ€™t work up the nerve,â€ Peterson said.
After a drink, Manieri shot Everitt twice, then grabbed the priestâ€™s wallet, keys, cellphone and $2,500 that was in an envelope in the bedroom and left the scene in Everittâ€™s 2011 Chevy HHR station wagon, Peterson said Manieri told Florida investigators.
Manieri, who sat alone without counsel in the Hancock County courtroom, waived his right to question Peterson.
â€œMore than likely, you committed the crime,â€ Circuit Judge John Gargiulo told Minieri,
Gargiulo sentenced him to the maximum of five years for committing a crime while on probation and for not reporting to his probation officer after his release from prison. He had served time for failing to re-register as a convicted sex offender. He has a prior conviction of unlawful touching of a child.
The Mississippi Crime Unit is still processing evidence and the murder investigation is ongoing, Peterson said. [more]