Son charged in stabbing death of civilian US Navy staffer in Bahrain

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — U.S. prosecutors have charged the son of a civilian Navy staffer in Bahrain over her stabbing death in the Mideast island kingdom.

Federal court documents accuse Giovonni Z. Pope, 27, of stabbing his mother to death at her off-base apartment on Jan. 31. Contact details for Pope could not be immediately found and his listed public defender declined to comment Saturday.

Court documents only identify his mother by the initials E.A., describing her as a civilian Defense Department employee at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, the home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. She had worked there since September 2017.

An affidavit by a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service says the woman’s co-workers became worried when she didn’t come to work Feb. 1. Investigators discovered her body under a blanket in her apartment, repeatedly stabbed.

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Bahraini police later arrested Pope. He told Bahraini investigators at one point that he killed his mother as she “was blocking him from achieving his goals by not letting him return to the United States to work on his clothing business,” the agent’s affidavit claims. He had allegedly used his mother’s credit card after the killing to purchase airfare back to the U.S. to visit his girlfriend.

Bahrain had declined to prosecute Pope if the U.S. tried him, the agent said. U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas M. DiGirolamo of Maryland issued an order Thursday for him to be brought back to America to face trial on a murder charge.

The U.S. Embassy in Bahrain and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday, nor did Bahrain’s Interior Ministry.

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