BAIL RAISED, COURT DATE SET, FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS DOUBLE-MURDER SUSPECT

BAIL RAISED, COURT DATE SET, FOR TWENTYNINE PALMS DOUBLE-MURDER SUSPECT

Double murder suspect Rafael Aikens was in Joshua Tree Superior court again Wednesday, and Judge Rodney Cortez acceded to the prosecution’s request to increase his bail. Aikens, 22, a Marine lance corporal assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7thMarine Regiment, was arrested two weeks ago on board the Combat Center. He is accused of killing Renee Metcalf, 62, and her 32-year-old daughter Christy McKissic, both of Twentynine Palms, March 24. At last week’s arraignment hearing, Aikens pleaded not guilty and Judge Bert Swift set his bail at $1.75 million. Prosecuting attorney Shannon Faherty then requested a change of judges, and yesterday, Cortez agreed to double Aikens’ bail to $3.5 million. Aikens’ public defender announced that Aikens had hired a private attorney, Donald Calabria, to represent him. Aikens’ next court date is May 17, followed by a preliminary hearing May 18.

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