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Deputies arrest two suspects in Stevinson homicide

Frankie Hicks, 21, of Crows Landing, also was charged in the death of Casey Desalles at his home, which police identified as a pot-growing site.
Frankie Hicks, 21, of Crows Landing, also was charged in the death of Casey Desalles at his home, which police identified as a pot-growing site. submitted photo

Merced County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested two suspects in the February homicide of a 37-year-old Stevinson man.

Frankie Lon Hicks, 21, and Emilio Virgen, 18, both of Crows Landing, are accused of fatally shooting Casey Desalles. Detectives believe Desalles was killed inside his home during what appears to have been a robbery for marijuana.

The victim’s body was found in his home in the 19000 block of Sixth Avenue in Stevinson on Feb. 24, according to Deputy Delray Shelton, sheriff’s spokesman.

Detectives have said the man was also struck with a hatchet. A family dog was found dead at the home as well.

The victim’s home was known by detectives as a marijuana cultivation site. During the investigation, deputies found marijuana at various spots at the location, according to Shelton.

After the body was found, Detectives Erick Macias and Mike Ruiz followed up on leads and identified Hicks and Virgen as suspects.

Both men were arrested Thursday in Crows Landing and served search warrants. Under questioning, both suspects confessed to their involvement in the crime, according to Shelton.

The suspects were booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of murder. Hicks is being held in lieu of $2 million, and Virgen is being held in lieu of $1 million.

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