A repeat felon from the East Coast was booked into jail in San Diego County this week and charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of an Oceanside man, David Patrick Viars, 33, who was found bleeding to death on January 1st.
Jereme Joseph Rasmussen, 25, pleaded not guilty and denied allegations of “strike prior” during his arraignment in the Vista courthouse late yesterday, (January 18th).
Public records state that Rasmussen was convicted of first-degree burglary in Bucks County Pennsylvania in 2011, when he was 19, and that he was in custody for one month for that offense.
Two years later, in 2013, when Rasmussen was 21, he was arrested for a home-invasion robbery in Surry County, North Carolina. San Diego County prosecutor Nikki Estrada asserts that Rasmussen was convicted of using a handgun to assault and rob one victim in that case.
Oceanside police released a statement earlier this week, saying Rasmussen and his 27-year-old wife were arrested by local police in Westminster on January 16. The duo were trying to use stolen checks in Orange County, according to authorities.
However, by the time the female suspect was arraigned in San Diego County yesterday, her name changed to Kelsey Paige Lyons, 27.
Lyons pleaded not guilty to felony accessory in the Oceanside murder case; however, her public defender did not make any argument when the prosecutor requested that bail for Lyons be raised from $20,000 to $100,000. The prosecutor alleges that Lyons aided Rasmussen “after the murder took place,” that Lyons is a flight risk, and that she faces three years in prison if convicted.
Judge James Simmons Jr. granted the prosecutor’s request to increase bail for Lyons; bail for co-Rasmussen remains at $5 million.
The defendants declined to waive their rights to a speedy trial and are expected to be back in court for a preliminary hearing on January 31st in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse in Vista.