Two former central Maine men who are jailed on drug charges in California now are charged with murdering a couple from Augusta who reportedly moved there to help with a marijuana operation.

Robby Alan Beasley, 30, formerly of Augusta, and Elijah Bae McKay, 28, a former state champion wrestler from Gardiner Area High School, are charged with shooting Frank Maddox, 32, and his wife, Yvette Colon Maddox, 40, according to Capt. James Bauman of California’s Lake County Sheriff’s Department.

A conviction for first-degree murder in California carries a prison sentence of 25 years to life.

The partially decomposed bodies of the Maddoxes were found March 4 at the bottom of an embankment in a rural area of northern California. The medical examiner ruled the deaths homicides, saying the two suffered gunshots wounds. They had been living in Clearlake, Calif., for several months.

One of Yvette Maddox’s relatives in Maine reported her missing on Jan. 28, and Frank Maddox was reported missing on Feb. 11.

Early in the investigation, Bauman said, detectives learned that Beasley had hired the couple and brought them to Lake County to work in a marijuana operation.

Beasley, who had moved to Clearlake and lists his occupation as a painter, was arraigned on the murder charges Wednesday morning in Lake County. McKay is to be arraigned today.

Beasley is scheduled to appear in court again Monday.

Bauman indicated that more arrests are anticipated and that police are continuing the nine-month investigation.

Beasley was arrested March 6 in California on a Maine warrant charging him with violating probation by leaving the state without permission. He had been convicted of criminal threatening and felony assault in Kennebec County in June 2007, and remained on probation for those offenses.

He was questioned in connection with the Maddoxes’ deaths, said Bauman, and later charged with marijuana cultivation.

A statement from Bauman on Wednesday said McKay became a person of interest about a week into the Maddox murder investigation.

McKay was arrested March 11 in Lake County on drug and weapons charges and released that day on $10,000 bail. He allegedly fled to Georgia and was brought back to the Lake County jail, where his bail was increased to $2 million.

The Lake County jail records show that McKay was born in Santa Rosa, Calif., and graduated from Gardiner Area High School in 2001.

In his senior year there, his 116 wins were the most ever by a Gardiner Area High School wrestler, and he was named wrestler of the year by Kennebec Journal sportswriters.

The Maddoxes and Beasley have criminal records in central Maine dating back several years.

Published records show that members of the Maine State Police tactical team arrested Beasley at his home in Pittston in December 2002 after he allegedly fired several shots out of his home at a guest’s vehicle. A 17-year-old girl was injured in the incident.

He also was arrested in October 2005 after a standoff with police in Augusta.

Beasley was indicted in January 2007 on charges of threatening a woman with an AK-47 assault rifle in Vassalboro.

He pleaded guilty to criminal threatening and assault, and was sentenced to five years in prison with all but 10 months suspended and two years’ probation.

Beasley was accused of trafficking in marijuana in 1999 in Gardiner.

Frank Maddox was convicted of unlawful sexual contact in 2001, possession of scheduled drugs and failing to comply with notification requirements of the Maine Sex Offender Registry, said Fowle.

Maddox and Beasley were both sent to the Maine Correctional Center in Windham in 2007. Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty indicated that the men were in the prison at the same time.

Yvette Maddox served time in Kennebec County jail for drug possession, Fowle said. She was sentenced in September 2005 to three years in jail, with all but 90 days suspended and two years’ probation.

Records show only one criminal conviction for McKay, for drunken driving on May 21, 2004, in Gardiner. McKay was fined $400.