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Double-murder suspect convicted in Oakland killings

OAKLAND — A registered sex offender has been convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in the slaying of a young couple in a hobo camp in Oakland.

Forty-six-year-old Jeffrey Minnick entered an Alford plea to the charges Wednesday. An Alford plea means a defendant doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges the state could win a conviction at trial.

Minnick faces the possibility of two consecutive life terms at his sentencing, which was not scheduled.

He was charged the fatal stabbing last May of 24-year-old Timothy Lax and 18-year-old Jessica Baker, both of Oakland. Police found their bodies near some railroad tracks in an area frequented by vagrants.

Minnick is on the national sex-offender registry because of his conviction for a sexual offense in North Carolina in 1988.

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