Attorney: Woman had no reason to kill Google exec - CBS46 News

Attorney: Woman had no reason to kill Google exec

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Courtesy of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office). This photo provided Thursday, July 10, 2014 by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, shows Alix Tichelman after her arrest on a battery charge, Sept. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office). This photo provided Thursday, July 10, 2014 by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, shows Alix Tichelman after her arrest on a battery charge, Sept. 6, 2013.
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
(AP Photo/NorthFulton.com, Jonathan Copsey) (AP Photo/NorthFulton.com, Jonathan Copsey)
(AP Photo/Santa Cruz Sentinel, Shmuel Thaler). Alix Tichelman, left, of Folsom, Calif., confers with public defender Diane August during her arraignment in Santa Cruz Superior Court Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Santa Cruz, Calif. (AP Photo/Santa Cruz Sentinel, Shmuel Thaler). Alix Tichelman, left, of Folsom, Calif., confers with public defender Diane August during her arraignment in Santa Cruz Superior Court Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in Santa Cruz, Calif.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Beretta: Gun law forcing move out of Maryland

    Beretta: Gun law forcing move out of Maryland

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:31:22 GMT
    Beretta U.S.A. Corp. says concerns about a gun-control bill that passed in Maryland last year have made it necessary to move its weapons making out of the state to Tennessee.More >
    Beretta U.S.A. announced Tuesday that company concerns over a strict gun-control law enacted in Maryland last year have made it necessary to move its weapons making out of the state to Tennessee.More >
  • Crews make gains on massive Washington wildfire

    Crews make gains on massive Washington wildfire

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:31:19 GMT
    Firefighters and local authorities are heartened by weather forecasts that call for continued cooler temperatures and higher humidity as they battle a destructive wildfire that has charred hundreds of square miles...More >
    Firefighters were making progress Tuesday in their efforts to get the largest wildfire in Washington state's history under control, with wetter weather bringing some relief but also raising concerns about flash flooding.More >
  • Supreme Court allows Arizona execution to proceed

    Supreme Court allows Arizona execution to proceed

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-07-22 23:31:09 GMT
    Attorneys for the state of Arizona have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow an execution planned for Wednesday to proceed, saying Joseph Rudolph Wood can't establish he has a First Amendment right to the...More >
    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed an Arizona execution to go forward amid a closely watched First Amendment fight over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs in the country.More >
By MARTHA MENDOZA
AP National Writer

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) - A woman accused by police of being a high-priced prostitute and abandoning a Google executive after shooting him up with a fatal dose of heroin would never have wanted him to die because he was paying her well, a defense attorney said Wednesday.

"There was no intent to harm or injure Mr. Hayes," said Larry Biggam, whose Santa Cruz firm has been appointed to represent defendant Alix Tichelman. "Why would she? He was a lucrative source of income to her."

As her parents watched quietly from the front row of a courtroom packed with media, Tichelman, 26, pleaded not guilty to prostitution, drug use and manslaughter in the death of Forrest Hayes, 51.

Her eyes were often closed during the proceedings, but she told Judge Timothy Volkmann "yes sir" when asked if she agreed to waive her right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days.

Hayes was found dead by the captain of his 50-foot yacht Escape last November. But the circumstances of his death were not widely known until last week, when Santa Cruz police arrested Tichelman after luring her 160 miles south from Folsom with a fake story about a client who wanted to hire her at an upscale resort.

Police detective Laurel Shonfield said video surveillance from the yacht shows Tichelman injecting Hayes with heroin "and doing nothing to render aid when he overdoses," according to court records.

Tichelman has wealthy parents and dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada, and was preparing to move out of California when she was arrested, Shonfield said.

At the hearing, Judge Volkmann denied Tichelman's request to release her on her own recognizance and kept her bail at $1.5 million.

Her attorneys said she has been unfairly denounced in the high-profile case.

"This case is extremely sad. There are five kids without a father today. But to demonize and sensationalize and totally blame Alix Tichelman for his death is misplaced, unfair and simply wrong," Biggam said after the hearing. "This case is about two adults who engaged in mutual, consensual drug usage in the context of a sexual encounter initiated and encouraged by Mr. Hayes."

Meanwhile, police in Milton, Georgia, have reopened their investigation into the September 2013 overdose death of Tichelman's former boyfriend Dean Riopelle, 53, the owner of a popular Atlanta music venue. Police said a panicked Tichelman called police, saying her boyfriend had overdosed on something and wouldn't respond.

She has not been charged in the case, and an autopsy report listed Riopelle's death as an accidental overdose of heroin, alcohol and oxycodone.

Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said detectives are planning a trip to Milton to work with authorities there on portions of the investigation.

It was not clear how long Tichelman might have been involved in prostitution, though police in Santa Cruz say she had many clients in the wealthy Silicon Valley.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow
CBS Atlanta
Powered by WorldNow
All content © 2000-2014 WorldNow and WGCL-TV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.