June 20, 2010 in City

Man charged in girlfriend’s death

Suspect told police he ‘overreacted’
Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – A southern Oregon man told police he “went psycho” when he stabbed his 17-year-old girlfriend more than 30 times, according to court records.

Nathanial Lee Geith, 25, of Grants Pass, has been arraigned on a murder charge in the death of Savanna Albertson. He is being held in the Josephine County Jail pending a bail hearing.

An affidavit filed with the court said Geith told officers that Albertson came at him with a knife. After he took it away from her, he allegedly stabbed her 33 times and bit her face. Geith told police he “overreacted,” “snapped” and “went psycho.”

He was covered in blood when he was arrested in a neighbor’s yard late Wednesday.

Geith’s aunt, Marie Brendon of Wolf Creek, told the Grants Pass Daily Courier that Geith moved to New York after graduating from Glendale High School in 2003. He returned to the area three years ago, got a job at a gas station and, about a year ago, fathered a child with a previous girlfriend.

She said Geith started taking methamphetamine and things went downhill.

“He had a good future ahead of him until the drugs,” Brendon said. “He was a good kid. They were both good kids.”

Eileen Zink, co-founder of the Wolf Creek Teen Center, said Albertson and Geith met at the gas station. They started dating about three weeks ago.

“We are all devastated and confused and unsure of what really happened here,” said Zink, who is serving as spokeswoman for Albertson’s family. “Savanna appeared to be happy. People have said that he was showing signs of emotional problems, but she seemed very upbeat.”

Zink said Albertson had a dry, sarcastic wit. She loved to camp and hike and volunteered with the Toby Fund, a Wolf Creek-based organization aimed at protecting animals. Most recently, she was elated over her new romance.

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