UPDATE, SEPT. 18, 4:02 P.M.: Jerel Mark Boykins, 26, of North Carolina, was formally charged today with one felony count of murder and a sentencing enhancement for personal use of a firearm that could send him to state prison for 50 years to life if he is convicted.
The Orange County District Attorney’s office alleges that the U.S. Marine went to the Laguna Hills home of 23-year-old Yahaira Boykins, who had separated from Jerel, and shot her multiple times with his personal firearm at close range, killing her. He then left the scene for Camp Pendleton, where he was picked up by Marine personnel and turned over to Orange County sheriff’s deputies, the OCDA adds.
In seeking a restraining order against Boykins in Orange County Superior Court, Yahaira Boykins alleged on multiple occasions that Jerel Boykins threatened to kill her and leave the area with their three children. “The (thing that most) scares me is that he, my husband, owns a gun and (I) fear that on his return he will come for me,” she once claimed in court documents. Already the subject of a temporary restraining order, Boykins was due in court Sept. 29 for a hearing to consider his wife’s requests that he take parenting and anger-management classes.
ORIGINAL POST, SEPT. 15, 10:58 A.M.: A Camp Pendleton Marine was arrested this morning for the murder of his 23-year-old estranged wife in Laguna Hills.
Jerel Boykins, 26, was detained by Marine Corps NCIS at Camp Pendleton a short time after deputies found the woman in unit 189 at the Aliso Meadows apartment complex at 25795 Via Lomas around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Orange County sheriff's Public Affairs Manager Jaimee Blashaw.
Boykins was arrested by sheriff's investigators this morning on suspicion of murder, Blashaw added.
Deputies had been sent to the address to perform a welfare check, and the woman whose identity has not yet been released was discovered with multiple gunshot wounds, said Blashaw, who added Orange County Fire Authority first responders pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
Witnesses told the Orange County Register that the woman was a dental assistant who lived in the apartment with her teenage brother and three sons who are 1, 3 and 5.
The brother, who apparently found his sister when he returned home from school, was himself taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries around 7:20 p.m., the Register reports.
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Unit 189 sustained a broken window.
Boykins was booked into the Orange County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending a scheduled Monday court appearance, Blashaw says. He is expected to be charged with murder.
The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s department at 714.647.7000.
Anonymous tips may also be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227 (1-855-TIP-OCCS) or via occrimestoppers.org.?