BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The plea hearing for two men accused in the August 2020 double-homicide of a northeast Bend couple at their home has been delayed more than three weeks due to a change in the attorney representing one of the defendants.
Two Bend-area men, Kenneth Atkinson, 54, and his nephew, Nathan Shane Detroit II, 31, were arrested Oct. 1 on two counts each of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. They were arraigned Oct. 11 on a six-count indictment that alleged a murder-for-hire scheme on Atkinson’s part, and were scheduled to enter pleas at a hearing set for Monday, now delayed to Nov. 23.
The bodies of Ray Atkinson Jr., 34, and his fiancé, Natasha Newby, 29, were found in August 2020 in the basement of their Northeast 12th Street home by a concerned friend and relative checking on their welfare. Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said they died of blunt force trauma.
Court records show that Detroit’s court-appointed attorney, Shawn Kollie, filed a motion Oct. 13 to withdraw from the case because his office is currently representing or has represented three potential witnesses for the prosecution, based on documents and witness statements. On Friday, Circuit Judge Beth Bagley granted his request and appointed Elizabeth Baker as Detroit’s attorney.