Key Largo man set to face Bahamas manslaughter charge in 2017

Tyler Valles was a mate on yacht docked in Bimini where PA man was killed

dgoodhue@keysreporter.comAugust 15, 2014 

A 20-year-old Key Largo man is scheduled to travel to the Bahamas in 2017 to face a manslaughter charge in connection with the death of a Pennsylvania businessman who was stabbed to death on a dock there in March.

Tyler Valles pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go before a judge in April 2017. Also expected to stand trial in the case is Robert Schwarz, 62. Both men were mates on a yacht that docked at the Bimini Big Game Club Resort, where Carl Yerger, a 45-year-old businessman from Fleetwood, Pa., was found dead on March 14.

Valles and Schwarz, who is from Gaylordsville, Conn., were freed the next day on $35,000 bail each. In the Bahamas, prisoners must come up with the entire bail, as opposed to a percentage of a bond as in most U.S. cases.

Valles was released from Her Majesty's Prison in Nassau, Bahamas, on March 19. His Bahamian lawyer, Wayne Munroe, said Valles has left the Bahamas.

Valles and Schwarz were charged March 18 with manslaughter. Bahamian prosecutors say they are connected with the killing Yerger, who was staying at the Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina on business. If convicted, they could serve life in prison.

Yerger, a married father of two young children, was in Bimini with his business partner Joseph Zidik. Attempts to reach Zidik were unsuccessful. The Yerger family's attorney, Jeffrey Bukowski, could not be reached for comment by press time Thursday afternoon.

According to Royal Bahamian Police Superintendent Stephen Dean, there was some sort of fight the night of March 14 on the 60-foot yacht on which Valles and Schwarz worked. When the scuffle was over, Yerger lay dead on the dock a few feet away from the vessel.

Munroe would not say what his clients claim happened that night.

Dean said everyone involved, including Yerger, was drinking alcohol. According to Munroe, the fight started when an intoxicated Yerger tried to board the vessel. The crew, including Valles, Schwarz and two other men, pushed Yerger off the boat twice.

Munroe said Yerger attacked Valles when the 2013 Coral Shores High School grad hopped off the yacht to get a security guard.

Dean said in March that he does not think the boat crewmen knew Yerger was seriously injured until after he collapsed and the police began investigating his death.

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