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Marine arraigned in 29 Palms double murder


Lance Corporal Rafael Aikens

22-year-old Marine LCpl Rafael Aikins made his first public court appearance Tuesday in Joshua Tree for his arraignment.

During the course of the hearing, Aikens pled not guilty according to KCDZ. Bail was later set at $1,750,000.

Deputy District Attorney Shannon Faherty requested a change of judges which was granted. Aiken’s next hearing is set for April 12.

Last week police arrested Aikens on suspicion of a double-homicide. Aikens is stationed at Twentynine Palms Marine Base and is attached to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines as a machine-gunner.

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. A 10-year-old child was also found unharmed.

Police came aboard Twentynine Palms Marine Corps base at 6:50 p.m. Thursday 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.

Both women worked at the Virginian bar in downtown Twentynine Palms.

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