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Attorney: Prostitute had no reason to kill Google exec


SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) -- A high-priced prostitute accused of 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.

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steve July 16 2014 at 1:38 PM

that's what a high priced hooker looks like ???

Flag Reply +16 rate up
10 replies
chasesea July 16 2014 at 4:26 PM

I love how her lawyer tries to convince everyone that she had no reason to kill him. Perhaps not, but she did (and that is the point), and then she walked over his body to finish her wine and left. POS.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
2 replies
baldbiker2 chasesea July 16 2014 at 10:51 PM

Yes, that was all on video.....all of it. Nobody neeed to be there, she was dumb enough to think theyre would be video surveillance on the boat.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
tiffy3156 chasesea July 17 2014 at 2:13 AM

All lawyer think they could beat a murder case even cough red handed, they will come up with some kind of bull crap and try to persuade the jury that it O.K. to murder.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Tom July 16 2014 at 4:15 PM

It seems like an accidental overdose to me. That's the risk you take when you decide to use heroin. The guy is primarily responsible for his own death. Whether you stick the needle in yourself or pay someone to do it for you, it's pretty much the same thing.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
3 replies
richie3gs July 16 2014 at 2:40 PM

Father of five Hayes did he think of his family? kids, wife? got what he deserved ...

Flag Reply +12 rate up
3 replies
bubwalt July 16 2014 at 4:30 PM

The devil does not come tempting wearing a tail and carrying a pitch fork. She wears panties and swings a purse.

Afterall, who would pay big bucks for something totally ugly?

Flag Reply +10 rate up
3 replies
Frostie July 16 2014 at 3:30 PM

Looks like a junkie.
Shame for the family to
have to see this.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
markschupp July 16 2014 at 4:56 PM

Google execs have no taste.

Or sense.

This is 10 buck hoe!

Flag Reply +7 rate up
3 replies
vernsmaria July 16 2014 at 5:58 PM

If she's what a "High priced Hooker" looks like, Joan Rivers still has hope.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
tfpisan July 16 2014 at 1:28 PM

sorry if you stepped over a man who was dieing then you left. you r in for murder, you pc of ****.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
2 replies
shrinepres tfpisan July 16 2014 at 3:55 PM

tfisan, there is no reason for your sad comment. pretty pathetic of you.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Christian tfpisan July 16 2014 at 4:31 PM

dying not dieing

Flag Reply 0 rate up
hubigspies July 16 2014 at 4:47 PM

She is a heroin addict. Do we expect her to act differently? I think not.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
hynotman hubigspies July 17 2014 at 5:40 AM

Alcohol and Tobacco addicts are no different...

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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