BARSTOW — A 56-year-old Barstow man arrested on suspicion of murder is expected to appear in a Victorville courtroom Tuesday for arraignment.
Barstow police arrested Maurice Richard King on Saturday morning on suspicion of murder in the death of Kenneth Ray Hawkins, 62, of Barstow. Police allege King shot Hawkins “multiple times.”
Police responded to a home in the 1700 block of Paloma Street on Saturday morning to check for Hawkins, who was reported missing on Friday, police said.
Officer Juan Zepeda made contact with King, who told him Hawkins was not home, police said. Zepeda checked around the home and found the body of “what appeared to be a deceased black male adult in the residence,” police said.
The man was later identified as Hawkins. San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner's Division Supervising Deputy Coroner Tony Campisi said Hawkins was found with upper body trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene. Campisi said an autopsy was expected to be performed later this week.
Zepeda detained King and called for additional assistance. Detectives then arrived, assumed the investigation and found “signs of foul play,” police said. Detectives also spoke to multiple witnesses at the scene and in the area.
Officers conducted a crime scene investigation and it revealed Hawkins suffered multiple gunshot wounds and evidence linked King to the shooting, police said.
A longtime family friend who has known the men for years told the Desert Dispatch on Monday that the incident came as a shock.
"It tripped everyone out," said the woman, who requested anonymity. "They were like brothers. You wouldn't see one without the other. That's how close they were."
Barstow police Lt. Andy Espinoza Jr. said the department was investigating if drugs were involved.
Booking records show King was booked under the name Rick King. Booking records show that King had three warrants for his arrest, all stemming from traffic violations, ranging from driving with a suspended license to driving under the influence.
Court records show King is a convicted felon and was sentenced to 730 days of county jail in 2004 after pleading no contest to a perjury charge.
King was being held ineligible for bail at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, booking records show.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Barstow Police Department at 760-256-2211. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the WeTip hotline at 800-782-7463 or visit www.wetip.com.