TRIAL BEGINS FOR YUCCA VALLEY MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING MARTIN REYES

The trial for a man accused of shooting and killing a Yucca Valley man more than four years ago began yesterday. Brian Cline, 34, was in a Joshua Tree courtroom Tuesday when lawyers began selecting potential jurors. On April 18, 2013, Brian Cline was arguing with Martin Reyes, 35, in

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MARINE ACCUSED OF KILLING TWO TWENTYNINE PALMS WOMEN PLEADS NOT GUILTY

The man accused of killing two Twentynine Palms women was in a Joshua Tree courtroom again Thursday. Rafael Aikens, 22, pleaded not guilty to double homicide in his second arraignment. During Aikens’ preliminary hearing in August, law enforcement officials laid out their case that Aikens, a machine-gunner attached to 2nd

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LEPPAN MURDER TRIAL DELAYED

The lawyer for a former Twentynine Palms man accused of murdering his ex-wife in 2004 filed a motion in court last week asking the judge to dismiss the case. Judge Bert Swift set a court date of November 9 to hear the 995 motion for Charles Leppan, 45. A 995

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MISSING HIKERS’ DEATHS CALLED MURDER-SUICIDE

The county coroner’s office has classified the deaths of two hikers who went missing in Joshua Tree National Park as a murder-suicide. Rachel Nguyen, 20, and Joseph Orbeso, 21, had been reported missing July 28 when they did not check out of their vacation rental in Joshua Tree, but all

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MISSING HIKERS' DEATHS CALLED MURDER-SUICIDE

The county coroner’s office has classified the deaths of two hikers who went missing in Joshua Tree National Park as a murder-suicide. Rachel Nguyen, 20, and Joseph Orbeso, 21, had been reported missing July 28 when they did not check out of their vacation rental in Joshua Tree, but all

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A DELAY IN CHRISTOPHER LEE’S APPEAL OF ERIN CORWIN MURDER CONVICTION

Christopher Lee’s appeal of his conviction for brutally murdering 19-year-old Erin Corwin of Twentynine Palms received the first of what will most likely be many delays. Yesterday, the judge presiding over the appeal granted the prosecution a 30-day delay in answering Lee’s opening brief for the appeal. Lee’s court-appointed attorney

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APPEAL FILED IN CHRISTOPHER LEE MURDER CONVICTION

The lawyer for Christopher Lee, the former Marine convicted last year of murdering Erin Corwin of Twentynine Palms in 2014 and dumping her body down a mine shaft, filed an appeal Thursday with the 4th Appellate Court District Division 2. Richard de la Sota told Z107.7 News that he feels

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MORONGO VALLEY MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN STABBING DEATH

A Morongo Valley man who pleaded guilty to stabbing a neighbor to death three years ago was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday. On April 5, 2014, Chad Leyburn, 31, was arguing with his neighbor, Robert Verbeck, 74, when he took out a knife and stabbed Verbeck five times,

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TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN ACCEPTS PLEA BARGAIN THURSDAY IN MURDER

A Twentynine Palms man accused of shooting another man in January 2014 pleaded guilty in a Joshua Tree courtroom Thursday. Raymond Burney, 55, was arguing with Wayne Kerr, 55, in the 6300 block of Palmview Avenue when Burney pulled out a gun and shot Kerr in the upper chest. Kerr

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ARREST MADE IN CASE OF BODY FOUND SUNDAY IN PIONEERTOWN

A 23-year-old man was arrested late last night, accused of murdering a Yucca Valley man and leaving his body in a parked car in Pioneertown. About 9:15 p.m. Thursday night, Sheriff’s deputies went to the 7100 block of Barberry Avenue in Yucca Valley with a search warrant. After an investigation,

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HOMICIDE SUSPECTED IN DEATH OF MAN FOUND IN PIONEERTOWN

A man was found dead Sunday morning inside a vehicle in Pioneertown, and Sheriff’s deputies suspect foul play. According to the Sheriff’s department, authorities were called about 9:10 a.m. to the area of Skyline Ranch Road and Pioneertown Road. Deputies found Charles Brown, 63, of Yucca Valley, dead inside a

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PROSECUTION LAYS OUT ITS CASE AGAINST ACCUSED DOUBLE MURDERER

The prosecution laid ots its case yesterday against a Marine accused of killing two women in Twentynine Palms March 24. Reporter David Haldane was in court and files this story…

Rafael Aikens will stand trial for double murder. That’s the upshot of yesterday’s preliminary hearing at which the prosecution outlined

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ACCUSED DOUBLE MURDERER IN COURT TODAY

The man accused of killing two Twentynine Palms women is in a Joshua Tree courtroom today, as the prosecution lays out its case against him in a preliminary hearing. Law enforcement officials believe Rafael Aikens, 22, a machine-gunner attached to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment aboard the Combat Center, shot

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YUCCA VALLEY MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER IN PALMS SPRINGS DUI

A Yucca Valley man who crashed while driving high on drugs must stand trial for the murder of his passenger who died in the crash, a Riverside County judge ruled Tuesday. Robert Garcia Junior, 51, also faces charges of DUI causing injury for the injuries of three other people in

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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

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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

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ACTIVE-DUTY MARINE ARRESTED AFTER DOUBLE MURDER IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

An active duty U.S. Marine stationed at the Twentynine Palms base, the suspect in a Twentynine Palms double murder, was arrested Thursday aboard the base. Homicide investigators say just after midnight, March 24, a 911 call was placed, stating that two women had been shot multiple times in the 7700

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DETECTIVES INVESTIGATING SHOTS FIRED FIND TWO BODIES IN TWENTYNINE PALMS

UPDATE 3/25 8 a.m.

The Sheriff’s Department has not released any additional details about the shooting, and despite a call requesting confirmation, the coroner’s office has not released the victim’s names yet. But friends of the victims have said they are Renee Neper Metcalf, 62, and Christy Pratt McKissic, 33.

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DESERT HOT SPRINGS MAN ACCUSED OF MURDER, ARRESTED

A Desert Hot Springs man was arrested Wednesday, accused of murder. According to the Desert Hot Springs police, officers were sent to the 13300 block of Verbena Drive about 10 p.m. Tuesday night for a call of shots fired. When they arrived, they found Steven Nelson, 49, had been shot.

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YUCCA VALLEY MAN ARRESTED AFTER SUSPECTED DUI CRASH IN PALM SPRINGS THAT KILLED ANOTHER YUCCA VALLEY MAN

A Yucca Valley man has been arrested after a suspected DUI Crash killed another Yucca Valley man in Palm Springs Monday evening. The Palm Springs Police Department said they arrested 50-year-old Robert Garcia Jr. for investigation of driving under the influence of drugs causing a deadly crash which killed Keyon

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