Sunday, June 4, 2023

Manhunt is Over: CHP Captures Suspect in the Murder of 20-Year-Old Covelo Man

Lee Anthony Joaquin [MCSO Booking Logs]

Nearly one month after allegedly murdering a 20-year-old Covelo man, lead suspect Lee Anthony Joaquin is in custody. 

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has sought Lee Anthony Joaquin in connection with the homicide of 20-year-old Nickolas Whipple killed in the early morning of Wednesday, March 29, 2023. Whipple was reportedly killed by a gunshot wound to the chest but he was beaten so badly that authorities were not sure.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Captain Greg Van Patten told us the California Highway Patrol arrested him speeding this afternoon near Nelson Ranch Road between Ukiah and Hopland. 

During the arrest, Joaquin allegedly provided a false name and was arrested on charges unrelated to the murder of Nickolas Whipple. It was only when he was at the Mendocino County Jail that his true identity was determined, Captain Van Patten said.

Sheriff Matt Kendall told us officers located approximately 20 pounds of cannabis in the vehicle he was driving as well as a firearm.*

A booking log from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office indicates he was processed and booked into the Mendocino County Jail this afternoon at 3:50 p.m. on numerous charges. 

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He faces allegations of misdemeanor false identification to a peace officer, selling/giving/transporting marijuana, and possession of marijuana for sale. In terms of felonies, he faces a charge of murder, and two charges associated with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Note: Our apologies. There was a misunderstanding. The latter part of this sentence was incorrect.

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  1. Good!! Another alleged low life removed from Round Valley. Will the DA put this alleged monster away for life?? Or will this poor excuse for a human being be let out of prison in a few years? Placed on parole like so many other low lifes who continue to plague Round Valley citizenry

    • The DA isn’t letting these guys out early. It’s our elected state legislators, attorney general and governor.
      They reduced all the laws and now cops DAs and judges get blamed. Look a little deeper and you will see.

  2. Umm how is transporting 20 lbs of marijuana for intent to sell not a felony? I thought the law was if this:

    Illegal sale or transportation of marijuana is a California felony if any of the following is true:

    You have a prior conviction for one of a list of particularly serious violent felonies, including murder, sexually violent offenses, sex crimes against a child under 14, or gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, or a sex crime that requires you to register as a sex offender;

    You have two (2) or more prior convictions for HS 11360 sale/transportation of marijuana;
    You knowingly sold, attempted to sell, or offered to sell or furnish marijuana to someone under 18; or

    You imported or attempted or offered to import into California, or transported or attempted/offered to transport out of California for sale, more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or more than four grams of concentrated cannabis.

    A felony violation of 11360 HS is punishable by two, three or four years in county jail; and/or
    a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

    Additionally, there are serious collateral consequences to a California felony conviction. One of these is that you must disclose the conviction if asked on an application for employment. You will also be banned for life from owning a firearm in California.

  3. It seems odd that his arrest happened because he (a sought after fugitive) was speeding on a main artery (101) and he was carrying 20 (!!!) lbs of cannabis, which can be surmised to have come from his old stomping grounds, Covelo. And more than anything, that the deputies did not even know who they had until they had him booked in the county jail. Good thing he kindly provided the excuse for arresting him or he would still be out there. BTW, calling him a “monster” is jumping the gun, since it is only alleged that he committed this crime. Understand the anger generated by this tragedy, but let’s not form a lynch mob. So far, reports in the news and statements from the Sheriff do not indicate what kind of testimony or proof they have to tie Joaquin to the crime. Please no jumping to conclusions either that I am “soft on crime”, just want to see the real culprit get justice, not an unfair trial where the “perp” is already tried and convicted before the trial starts.

    • Cops are the ones that are low lives that grow marijuana & sell as well just because cops are working for the system to get the upper hand to threaten to have an individual to take the false for their bullshit. Who knows the cops set him up. As Natives American people we’re always blamed for their dirty work.

      • So are you saying that the cops gave him the marijuana to transport and told him speed to get it there quickly and also advised him to use a fake name? You are as ignorant as the criminals they arrest! Btw White people are the minority in this country!

  4. Why did the mcso take him off the booking log? This piece of horse shit needs to be om the booking log like everyone else wtf

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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