Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Arraignment in murder case continued for second time

John Gray (center) and his attorney, Kevin Ikuma (right) during Monday's court appearance. Photo by Harold LaBonte.



LAKEPORT – A Kelseyville man arrested late last month on a murder charge was back in court on Monday.

John Robert Gray, 43, was in Superior Court Judge Richard Martin's courtroom for arraignment on allegations that he murdered his roommate, 37-year-old Eric James Joaquin.

The District Attorney's Office also has filed special allegations against Gray for allegedly inflicting great bodily injury in a violent felony and use of a deadly weapon.

Joaquin's body was found on Feb. 28 at the home that he had shared with Gray and some other roommates in the Clear Lake Riviera, as Lake County News has reported. Gray was arrested later that day at his girlfriend's Kelseyville home.

The preliminary cause of Joaquin's death, based on an autopsy conducted last week, is that he died of multiple blunt force trauma.

Gray initially had been arraigned March 3 but the hearing was continued and he did not enter a plea to the charges.

On Monday he was represented in court by Bay Area attorney Kevin Ikuma.

During the proceedings, Ikuma told Martin that he was not prepared to enter a plea for Gray due to the fact that he had not yet received any of the police reports or any other discovery information from the Lake County Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Office.

Ikuma requested a continuation until April 10 at 1:30 p.m., which District Attorney Jon Hopkins supported, explaining that he, too, has not reviewed all the evidence or the results of the ongoing investigation.

Judge Martin granted the defense request and ordered that Gray remain in custody with bail continued at $500,000.

Hopkins said afterward that he will continue to handle the case.

“I am waiting for all completed forensic evidence reports,” Hopkins said. “I will review these reports and make further determinations based on that information.”

Hopkins would not elaborate about the investigation or whether the case against Gray will allege that he acted alone or with someone else.

He also wouldn't offer additional details relating to Joaquin's cause of death.

“An exact cause and weapon used has not yet been forensically determined at this very early stage of the investigation,” Hopkins said.

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


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