A 41-year-old ex-con accused of fatally stabbing his mother and stepfather in Hemet made his initial court appearance Monday but did not enter a plea.

Quintin Antony McCracken, a convicted bank robber who was released from federal prison last September after serving a 13-year sentence, was arrested Thursday following a Hemet Police Department investigation into the deaths of 61-year-old Harriet Elaine Barnes and 75-year-old John Ronald Perez four days earlier.

McCracken is charged with two counts of murder with special circumstance allegations of taking multiple lives in the same crime, as well as one count each of vehicle theft and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

He made his initial court appearance before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Timothy Hollenhorst, who appointed him a public defender and scheduled his arraignment for Friday at the Banning Justice Center.

The defendant is being held in lieu of $2 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

According to Hemet police Lt. Nathan Miller, McCracken was identified as the alleged perpetrator soon after the victims were located about 11 p.m. on Aug. 3 in their house in the 5000 block of Corte Cerro, near Via Rivas.

According to the criminal complaint, it’s likely the victims were killed two days prior. McCracken was taken into custody in San Bernardino, where he resided prior to moving in with his mother and Perez.

Miller said patrol officers were sent to the location for a welfare check because the pair had not been in touch with friends and family for several days, leading to concerns.

“Investigators are still working on figuring out what led up to this tragic incident that rocked the otherwise quiet community,” the lieutenant said.

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