Investigators Thursday were examining several coins found during the arrest of a 20-year-old Tustin Marine to determine whether they were stolen during the robbery of a Newport Beach rare coin dealership that left two people dead and one critically wounded in March.
Meanwhile, authorities said they also are investigating the possibility that more than one suspect was involved in the execution-style shootings at the Newport Coin Exchange.
Lance Cpl. Eric Jon Wick was scheduled to be arraigned today on charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery in the deaths of Clyde Oatts, 45, and Renee Ratoon King, 38, and the wounding of her husband, William D. King, owner of the coin dealership.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Thomas J. Borris said he also would seek to add a special circumstances charge of murder during the commission of a felony, which would mean Wick could face the death penalty.
Wick, the son of an FBI agent, was arrested June 8 at his family home in Reno. He was held by military authorities until he was taken into custody Wednesday by Newport Beach police.
Several valuable coins, including two $100 Australian platinum koala coins, a $50 Australian platinum koala coin and a Mexican peso valued at $50 were found in Wick's car when he was arrested, Newport Beach police said.
Investigators also are conducting ballistics tests on a 9-millimeter semiautomatic found under the front seat of Wick's car to determine whether it was used in the killings.
Newport Beach police spokesman Bob Oakley said investigators believe robbery was the motive for the slayings. William King has indicated to police--based on photographs of the suspect--that he does not know Wick, Oakley said.
"As far as we can determine, there appear to be no links between the two," he added.
King, 37, is recovering at home from gunshot wounds to the head and chest suffered in the assault that killed his wife and Oatts, a friend of the couple, at the coin exchange offices on MacArthur Boulevard near John Wayne Airport.
At the time of the murder and robbery, King had been under investigation for allegedly bilking investers out of more than $1 million through a Newport Beach telemarketing company that sold contracts for gold, platinum and silver.
Oakley said investigators have uncovered no evidence linking the fraud investigation to the slayings.
Authorities have not disclosed what was taken during the robbery or its value. But investigators said a receipt found at the scene of the crime bearing a telephone number from a barracks at the Tustin Marine Corps Helicopter Station first led detectives to Wick.
The receipt, for the purchase of coins, bore the name of 'Eric Watt'--a name that investigators say Wick used as an alias--and included a telephone number that Wick had access to at the base, Borris said.
Detectives traced the telephone number to Wick's barrack and fingerprinted everyone in the unit. Wick's prints matched those found on the receipt and on a display case at the coin exchange.
Oakley said Wick left the Tustin base without permission June 8, after investigators took his fingerprints.
After Wick's disappearance, Newport Beach police notified Reno authorities and he was arrested that evening without incident as he arrived at his family home, Oakley said.
A military source close to the investigation said Wick was held in military custody in Reno until Wednesday, when Newport Beach police obtained an arrest warrant for him on the murder and assault charges. The military then transported Wick on a C-12 military plane to Orange County and turned him over to Newport Beach police.
Oakley would not elaborate on why investigators believe there may be other suspects involved in the case and could not say whether there would be more arrests.
Times staff writers Maria Newman and Carla Lazzareschi contributed to this story.