New Details on Reedley's Attempted Murder

July 17, 2009 8:34:24 PM PDT
We are learning new details about a marine's mental health in the months leading up to Thursday's brutal Reedley attack. Investigators accused 25-year-old Dejon Baskin of trying to kill his estranged wife and her family. Investigators say Dejon traveled all the way from Miramar Air Station. Rachel Baskin is in critical condition. Her estranged husband Dejon is accused of slashing her throat. Her mother and brother's conditions have been upgraded to fair. Investigators say this all started because of a messy divorce. On Friday, we searched court documents that show the suspect's war time experience could be a major factor.

Alex Esquivel said, "First thing I knew, my door bell was ringing frantically. I thought it was one of my sons." It wasn't Esquivel's son. Instead 25-year-old Frank Gentsch was at his door step with a gun shot in the head. The throat of his sister 24-year-old Rachel Baskin was slashed. A Reedley journalist photographed pictures of Thursday's crime scene. Esquivel's said Rachel was found carrying her 1-year-old daughter covered in her mother's own blood, "The paramedic gave me some towels and all that for me to clean her up. I sent my wife inside the house to get a wash cloth or something to continue cleaning the baby."

Investigators arrested Dejon for trying to kill his estranged wife and her family. Rachel and the suspect married more than three years ago. Rachel indicated in court documents they only lived together about 7 months. Most of her time has been spent in Reedley where the shootings and stabbings happened.

Rachel filed for divorce in February requesting sole custody of the child. We found a document where Rachel claimed Dejon experienced combat trauma in Afghanistan and Iraq: "I believe that as a result of [my husband's] military duty he has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. I am also aware that [my husband] has been diagnosed with chronic alcoholism." She also stated Dejon was verbally abusive.

Reedley's Police Chief Steve Wright said they are aware of the suspect's mental health issues, "People respond to being in combat situations differently. It will be up to the courts and the experts to determine that."

Earlier this month a judge granted Rachel sole custody and ordered the suspect to pay more than $1,100 a month in child support. The Fresno County District Attorney's office expects to receive this case on Monday and possibly file charges. Reedley's police chief told me they are talking with the military to decide who will handle this case.

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