BEND, Ore. (TCD) — Prosecutors allege a 57-year-old man and his 31-year-old nephew who were arrested earlier this month on suspicion of murder were actually involved in a murder-for-hire plot.
According to court records, Nathan Shane Detroit II and his uncle Kenneth Wayne Atkinson were each charged with four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit a Class A felony.
The Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office announced Oct. 1 that Bend Police arrested Detroit and Atkinson for the Aug. 15, 2020, murder of Ray Atkinson Jr. and his fiancée Natasha Newby. The Bend Bulletin reports Kenneth Atkinson is accused of paying Detroit to murder Atkinson Jr. and Newby.
Atkinson Jr. reportedly lived in a home that belonged to Atkinson’s father, though Atkinson’s father Ray Atkinson Sr. reportedly never left a will when he died in 2019. The brothers reportedly had contentious legal battles regarding ownership of the residence, according to the Bend Bulletin.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said in an Oct. 1 press conference that they believe a new piece of evidence links Atkinson and Detroit to the crime, though they did not elaborate on specifics. Hummel alleged Atkinson and Detroit had a “perceived financial motive” to kill Atkinson Jr. and Newby, the Bend Bulletin reports.
According to Deschutes County Jail records, both men are being held without bail.
Oregon Judicial DepartmentIndictment: 2020 double homicide in Bend was murder for hire – The Bend BulletinBend police arrest two in August 2020 double homicide – The Bend BulletinEstate documents name brother as suspect in Bend homicide – The Bend BulletinDeschutes County District Attorney’s Office Facebook