Attorney: Prostitute had no reason to kill Google exec

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Attorney: Prostitute had no reason to kill Google exec
Alix Tichelman, second from left, stands next to her public defender Athena Reis as she is arraigned in Santa Cruz County Superior Court on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Tichelman, faces manslaughter charges in the death last November of Forrest Hayes, a Google executive after she walked away from him when he overdosed on heroin on his yacht. (AP Photo/Santa Cruz Sentinel, Shmuel Thaler, Pool)
Alix Tichelman looks back toward her family after her arraignment in Santa Cruz County Superior Court on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Tichelman, faces manslaughter charges in the death last November of Forrest Hayes, a Google executive after she walked away from him when he overdosed on heroin on his yacht. (AP Photo/Santa Cruz Sentinel, Shmuel Thaler, Pool)
This image provided by the Santa Cruz Police Department shows Alix Catherine Tichelman after she was booked into county jail in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Friday, July 4, 2014. Tichelman was arrested on manslaughter and heroin charges after injecting heroin into a Google executive on his yacht in Santa Cruz and leaving him to die when he overdosed, according to police and a newspaper. (AP Photo/Santa Cruz Police)
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This image provided by the Santa Cruz Police Department shows Alix Catherine Tichelman after she was booked into county jail in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Friday, July 4, 2014. Tichelman was arrested on manslaughter and heroin charges after injecting heroin into a Google executive on his yacht in Santa Cruz and leaving him to die when he overdosed, according to police and a newspaper. (AP Photo/Santa Cruz Police)
The house where bar owner Dean Riopelle overdosed Sept. 17, 2013, while at home with his girlfriend, Alix Tichelman, stands Thursday, July 10, 2014, in Milton, Ga. Two months before police say Tichelman, a high-priced prostitute, calmly left a Google executive dying from a heroin overdose on his yacht, the woman panicked on the phone with a 911 dispatcher as her boyfriend lay on the floor of their home in the throes of a fatal overdose. Police said Thursday they are re-examining the death if Riopelle, 53, the owner of a popular Atlanta music venue. Riopelle had been dating Tichelman, who is now charged with manslaughter in the November death of Google executive Forrest Hayes. She was never charged in Riopelle's death. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
A car sits in the driveway of the Folsom, Calif., house that is listed as the residence of Bart Tichelman, father of Alix Tichelman, who has been charged in the death of Google Inc., executive Forrest Hayes, Thursday, July 10, 2014. Alix Tichelman, 26, was arraigned in Santa Cruz County Superior Court, Wednesday, for the November 2013 death of Hayes, 51. No one answered the door at the two-story home where a neighbor said Tichelman occasionally frequented. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
This Thursday, July 10, 2014 photo shows a message taped to the door of the Folsom, Calif., home that is listed as the residence of Bart Tichelman, father of Alix Tichelman, who is a suspect in the death of Forrest Hayes. It reads, "Please no visitors or media or other contact with the residents, respect our privacy and our property." Alix Tichelman, 26, was arraigned in Santa Cruz County Superior Court, Wednesday, for the November 2013 death of Hayes, 51, an executive with Google Inc., who was found dead on his boat in Santa Cruz harbor. A neighbor said Tichelman occasionally frequented the house, as recently as about two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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. Tichelman, the high-priced prostitute charged in the overdose death of a Google executive aboard a yacht in California had searched online for how to legally defend herself after giving a lethal dose of heroin, police in California said Thursday. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office)
This Sept. 6, 2013 photo provided by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, July 10, 2014 shows Alix Tichelman after her arrest on a battery charge. Tichelman, who is charged in the overdose death of a Google executive aboard a yacht in California, had searched online for how to legally defend herself after giving a lethal dose of heroin, police in California said Thursday. On Thursday, authorities in Georgia reopened another overdose case involving Tichelman. Bar owner Dean Riopelle, 53, died of a heroin overdose in September 2013 in Milton, Ga. about two months before Google executive Forrest Hayes died on his yacht. Both had been seeing Tichelman, authorities said. (AP Photo/Fulton County Sheriff’s Office)
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By MARTHA MENDOZA

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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