Prostitute in tech exec's death pleads not guilty
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) - A high-priced prostitute accused of leaving a Google executive to die on his yacht in California after shooting him up with a fatal hit of heroin has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and heroin charges.
Twenty-six-year-old Alix Tichelman entered the plea on Wednesday in a Santa Cruz County courtroom. Prosecutors, additionally, charged her with great bodily injury.
A judge refused to reduce her $1.5 million bail.
Police say Tichelman did not help 51-year-old Forrest Hayes or call 911 as he went unconscious after she administered heroin to him.
According to police, surveillance footage from the yacht shows Tichelman gather her belongings, including the heroin and needles, casually step over Hayes' body to finish a glass of wine, clean up a counter, then lower a blind before leaving the yacht on Nov. 23.
Hayes was found the next day.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
A high-priced prostitute accused of leaving a Google executive to die on his yacht after shooting him up with a fatal hit of heroin is scheduled to appear in a California courtroom Wednesday to answer to manslaughter, drug and prostitution charges.
Alix Tichelman, 26, who's being held on $1.5 million bail, may also get a bail hearing at Santa Cruz County Superior Court.
Surveillance footage from the yacht shows Tichelman gather her belongings, including the heroin and needles, casually step over Forrest Hayes' body to finish a glass of wine, clean up a counter, then lower a blind before leaving the yacht on Nov. 23, police said.
The 51-year-old father of five was found dead by the captain of his 50-foot yacht Escape the next day.
The case has prompted police in Milton, Georgia, to re-examine the 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 wasn't charged in the case, and an autopsy report listed Riopelle's death as an accidental overdose of heroin, oxycodone and alcohol.
It is not clear how long Tichelman may have been involved in prostitution, though police in Santa Cruz say she had many clients in wealthy Silicon Valley.
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