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Local News

Suspect in Whipple murder at large

A man with shoulder-length curly black hair and a beard and mustache.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Facebook page.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Facebook page.
Lee Anthony Joaquin, the suspect in the murder of Nicholas Whipple.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is engaged in a multi-jurisdictional manhunt for a suspect in the murder of Nicholas Whipple, who was beaten and shot in Covelo early Wednesday morning.

We spoke with Sheriff Matt Kendall yesterday, after his office posted the description, the statement that Joaquin is “considered armed and dangerous,” and a request for anyone who has information about his whereabouts to contact the sheriff’s office. Anonymous tips can also be left with wetip, the crime reporting hotline, at or 1 (800) 78-CRIME.

The suspect, Lee Anthony Joaquin, was born in 1989 and has a long history of violence. He’s been charged with misdemeanor battery and inflicting corporal injury on the mother of his children twice. He has previously been convicted of two or more felonies, for burglary, buying and receiving stolen property, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He has an active misdemeanor charge for possession of over an ounce of marijuana.

Joaquin is five feet five inches tall and has shoulder length curly black hair. In a picture on the sheriff’s Facebook page, he has a neatly trimmed beard and mustache.

Local News
Sarah Reith came to Mendocino County in 2008 and worked as a reporter and freelancer, joining KZYX as a community news reporter in 2017. She became the KZYX News Director in March, 2023.