A Marine will be standing trial in the murder of two Twentynine Palms women who were killed in front of a 10-year-old child.
A San Bernadino County Superior Court judge ruled there was enough evidence in the case for Marine LCpl Rafael Aikens to stand trial for the murders, according to the Desert Sun.
A 911 call was made at 12:03 a.m. on March 24 to the Sheriff’s department. Officials found Christy McKissic, 32 and Renee Metcalf, 62, shot in their home. Both women worked at the Virginian bar in downtown Twentynine Palms.
A 10-year-old child was also found unharmed who reportedly witnessed the crime and identified Aikens in a second photo-line-up according to the news source.
Police came aboard Twentynine Palms Marine Corps base at 6:50 p.m. in early April with NCIS to contact Aikens in his living quarters. Search warrants were served and the Marine was booked into the Morongo Basin for the murders, according to the High Desert Star.
LCpl Aikens was a machine gunner attached to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines at the time of his arrest.
The Desert Sun reported that Aikens told a fellow Marines that he was responsible for the murder. The investigation also revealed that two Marines stated Aikens was involved in a sexual-relationship for over a year with McKissic.
Detectives discovered that Aikens had recently purchased a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun. Later, he’d given the gun to a fellow Marine and asked his friend to clean it and put the gun in his family’s safe in Redlands, CA.
The Marine thought this was unusual and asked Aikens why he wanted him to do this, according to the Sun Times. Aiken’s response to him was “not to worry about it,” according to the detective.
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