SUSPECT IN TWENTYNINE PALMS DOUBLE MURDER ARRAIGNED TODAY

SUSPECT IN TWENTYNINE PALMS DOUBLE MURDER ARRAIGNED TODAY

A Joshua Tree courtroom was filled Tuesday afternoon with family and friends, as well as Marines, of both the victims of a double murder, and the man accused of killing them. Rafael Aikens, 22, pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance since he was arrested for the murders of Christy McKissic, 32, and Renee Metcalf, 62, last month. Judge Bert Swift assigned a public defender to represent Aikens, and set Aikens’ bail at $1,750,000. Deputy District Attorney Shannon Faherty requested that the bail amount be doubled, since there were two victims, who were each shot with a firearm, but Swift denied her request, saying the bail amounts could not be stacked on top of each other. Faherty then requested a change of judges, which was granted. Aikens’ next court appearance will be April 12 with Judge Rodney Cortez, at which time Faherty will request the bail amount be re-visited. McKissic and Metcalf were shot in their home in the 7700 block of Bedouin Avenue in Twentynine Palms just after midnight March 24.

Rafael Aikins

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