JOSHUA TREE, Calif. (AP) — A Marine veteran has been ordered to trial in the killing of the pregnant wife of another Marine.
A judge ruled Thursday that 25-year-old Christopher Brandon Lee must stand trial for first-degree murder in the killing last year of 19-year-old Erin . He has previously pleaded not guilty and will be arraigned again later this month.
The judge’s order came after 11 prosecution witnesses testified. None were called for the defense.
Prosecutors say that and the married Lee were lovers. Her husband and Lee were both stationed at the Twentynine Palms Marine base.
Lee was arrested in Alaska in August after body was found down a 100-foot mineshaft near Joshua Tree in the Mojave Desert.
Prosecutors say Lee was worried his wife would discover the affair.
According to USA Today, Corwin believed Lee was about to propose, texting a friend to share the news. “The location is only half the surprise,” Corwin texted. “He said he’s honestly not sure how I’m going to react … Seriously, I don’t know why he would drag me to a very special place … for a big dumb surprise” the news source wrote.
Her close friend Jessica Trenthan testified in court, reading texts shared between them.
“When Corwin told her about the desert trip, Trentham asked Corwin if she was expecting Lee to give her an engagement ring.
“She said maybe,” Trentham. “With lots of exclamation points.”
Corwin went on to explain what she had learned about the upcoming trip to the desert. Trentham’s testimony indicated Corwin said that Lee had planned the desert trip as a romantic getaway, but he also expected to do some hunting, so he would bring a gun, and he might have to pull it out “for a few minutes.”
Lee has pleaded not guilty to all charges. During the hearing on Thursday, he sat shackled at the defendant’s table, but did not speak.