Former Marine relives attack on wife & family

September 18, 2012 12:12:43 AM PDT
A former Marine talked publicly for the first time Monday about his attack on his estranged wife and her family in Reedley.

Dejon Baskin is facing three counts of attempted murder after shooting his wife and her brother, then slashing his wife's throat and her mother's as well.

Baskin walked out into a Reedley neighborhood covered in blood after the attack that nearly killed his wife, Rachel, and her family. He used a gun and the knife you see on the far right hand side of this picture.

Baskin admitted as much in court three years later, but went silent when he saw the weapons and his own bloody jeans on Monday.

"Mr. Baskin, are you having difficulty looking at these items?" asked prosecutor Lisa Sondergaard.

"I don't want to," Baskin responded.

Judge Ed Sarkisian won't allow us to show video from the trial, but we can let you hear Baskin describe his version of the attack.

The former Marine sergeant admitted he held the family at gunpoint, and shot Rachel through a pillow, but said that's not what he meant to do.

"The gun goes off right?" asked Sondergaard.

"Accidentally," Baskin said.

"Does the gun go off? Yes or no?" Sondergaard asked.

"Yes," Baskin said.

"Does the bullet hit you?" asked Sondergaard.

"No," Baskin said.

"Who does the bullet hit?" the prosecutor asked.

"Rachel," Baskin responded.

"That bullet hit Rachel's head, didn't it?" Sondergaard asked.

"It hit her ear," Baskin admitted.

Baskin said he drove from his Marine base near San Diego to Reedley that morning to commit suicide. But when he fired the gun again, the second bullet also didn't hit him. It hit Rachel's brother, Chris Gentsch, point blank in the head.

"Chris was not supposed to get hit," Baskin said.

"Another accident?" Sondergaard asked.

"Rachel got up off the couch," Baskin said. "When she got up off the couch, I didn't stop her. I didn't say, 'Get back over here.' She got up off the couch and I didn't pursue her. The gun wasn't even pointed at her any more. It was pointed to the ground."

"How did Christopher get shot, Mr. Baskin?" asked Sondergaard.

24 seconds of silence followed the question.

Baskin later admitted he slashed Rachel's throat, and her mother's also -- each in the exact same spot on the trachea. But after three tours of duty in Iraq, Baskin said he has PTSD, and he believes he blacked out before that happened. He was still alert when police arrested him, though, and they described his reaction as "shocked" when they told him his victims survived.

"I thought they were dead," Baskin said. "If you'd have seen the amount of blood that I've seen and not just in these pictures, but being there and knowing what I know, doing what I do, you'd have been shocked too."

Baskin also acted as if the charges against him are a shock, saying he should be free of them.

If he's found guilty, he'll spend a life sentence in prison.

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