Dramatic 911 calls in Marine attempted murder trial
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Dramatic 911 calls tell the story of a former Marine who drove all the way from San Diego to Reedley, then attacked his wife, her brother, and her mother.
The attack happened three years ago and 28-year-old Dejon Baskin doesn't deny he did it.
But he's fighting three charges of attempted murder.
We should warn you, some of the testimony in the case is graphic.
Baskin's attorney says the former Marine suffers from PTSD and traumatic brain injury from his time in the service, so he didn't really intend to kill anyone but himself.
But another attorney said this is really a case of a triple murder where the three victims refused to die, and their testimony can be very powerful.
Frightened screams from a woman under attack, and the angry threats of her estranged husband are the first sounds picked up by a 911 call coming from a Reedley home in July 2009.
"Now I'm going to have to [expletive] cut you," Dejon Baskin could be heard saying as a 911 operator listened through an open line.
"911," said the operator. "Do you have an emergency?"
Rachel Baskin could then be heard screaming and saying, "Please. Please."
Rachel would stop speaking shortly after that call, her throat cut by her husband.
Judge Edward Sarkisian won't allow us to record video during this trial, but the wounds to Rachel's neck were obvious during an earlier hearing.
Her husband also slashed her mother's throat and shot her brother point-blank in the head.
But Dejon Baskin's attorney says the Marine didn't necessarily have murder on his mind when he grabbed a gun, three bullets, and a knife -- then left Miramar headed north, away from his base and toward trouble.
"He clearly had something in mind when he got behind the wheel of his girlfriend's car and drove six hours to Reedley, and if it wasn't to kill them, what was it?" an Action News reporter asked the defense attorney, Eric Schweitzer.
"Maybe or maybe not," Schweitzer said. "I don't know what's in the mind of the average drunk driver with liquor and valium in his system."
Schweitzer says Baskin panicked in the heat of the moment, and was confused and cooperative a little while later when he answered his wife's phone and spoke to a 911 operator.
"I just tried to kill my family," Baskin told the 911 operator. "I don't know what happened."
"OK. Hold on one second, sir, OK?" said the operator.
"I'll be waiting outside for the cops," said Baskin.
But prosecutors paint a different picture -- one of a Marine who decided to kill three people, and failed.
The case is expected to last a little over a week and all three victims will testify sometime next week.
reedley, fresno county, crimetracker, local, corin hoggard
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