Thursday, 30 May 2024

Kelseyville man in custody on homicide charge

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John Gray was arrested on Saturday for homicide. He's being held in connection with the death of Eric Joaquin. Lake County Jail photo.

 

 

KELSEYVILLE – A Kelseyville man is in custody for allegedly murdering his roommate.

John Robert Gray, 43, was arrested at 4:30 p.m. Saturday by sheriff's officials, who had begun looking for him earlier in the day.

The murder victim is 37-year-old Eric Joaquin, who was reportedly beaten to death, according to one neighbor who spoke with sheriff's deputies.

Lake County Sheriff's officials did not respond to weekend calls or e-mail regarding the incident.

Several neighbors spoke with Lake County News, but asked not to be identified for reasons that included fear of retaliation from some of the subjects who had frequented the home.

On Saturday morning at 9:42 a.m. sheriff's dispatch put out a call to sheriff's deputies about an incident at Gray's home at 10163 Del Monte Way in the Clear Lake Riviera, based on a 911 call that appeared to have been made from the address. The original report indicated the victim may have been shot, according to radio reports.

There, law enforcement reportedly found Joaquin's body inside the house. The street was then cordoned off as deputies began interviewing neighbors.

One of the neighbors, who called the situation “a nightmare,” added, “Whoever did this is a scary person.”

All of the neighbors said sheriff's officials confirmed to them that a homicide had taken place. One man said he was told Gray was the suspect and Joaquin the victim, and that they believed Joaquin had died sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

Joaquin had moved into the house with Gray within the last three to four months, according to one neighbor. That man also reported seeing Gray and Joaquin working together on a project car at the house.

The neighbors reported not hearing anything on Friday night, and one man said he had not seen Gray in several days, a circumstance he called “kind of weird.”

“In the last few days it's been kind of quiet over there,” the man said.

Gray was not arrested at his home, the man added.

One of the neighbors reported sharing hellos and occasional friendly waves with Gray and Joaquin, but he had been concerned about constant comings and goings of others who had been visiting the house at all hours, raising concerns about possible drug activity.

Over the last month and a half the house had been visited by the sheriff's office four times, said a neighbor, including once on Feb. 22, according to a sheriff's log entry. One of the neighbors said he guessed they must have had a scanner in the house; shortly before sheriff's deputies arrived on the Feb. 22 visit, several people came running outside and appeared to be hiding things.

Sheriff's deputies were called back to the Del Monte Way address on Sunday on the report of people taking property out of the home.

Gray, whose booking sheet lists him as being self-employed, is being held in the Lake County Jail on $500,000 bail. Jail records indicate that he's due to appear in court on Tuesday in Department 2.

Harold LaBonte contributed to this report.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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