Attorney: Woman had no reason to kill Google exec - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

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>>

  • Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston

    Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:31 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:31:07 GMT
    The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down just north of Boston.
    A storm system that wreaked havoc across the eastern half of the U.S. spawned a tornado just north of Boston on Monday, ripping roofs off homes, uprooting dozens of large trees and forcing businesses to close.
  • Report: Man climbed atop basketball hoop in escape

    Report: Man climbed atop basketball hoop in escape

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:25 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:25:15 GMT
    A man who was a known flight risk escaped from a central Arizona jail by hoisting himself atop a basketball hoop, grabbing on to an overhead security fence and pulling it apart.
    A man who was a known flight risk escaped from a central Arizona jail by hoisting himself atop a basketball hoop, grabbing on to an overhead security fence and pulling it apart.
  • US Court: Virginia marriage is for all lovers

    US Court: Virginia marriage is for all lovers

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:17 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:17:58 GMT
    A federal appeals court has struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban.
    Virginia's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Monday in a decision that could overturn similar prohibitions in the Carolinas and West Virginia.
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.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Russia ordered to pay $50 billion over Yukos

    Russia ordered to pay $50 billion over Yukos

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:16 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:16:08 GMT
    The former majority shareholder in Yukos Oil Company says it has won in excess of $50 billion in a court ruling against Russia.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin's government must pay $50 billion for using tax claims to destroy Yukos, once the country's largest oil producer, and its Kremlin-critical CEO, an international court has ruled.
  • Fighting in Ukraine prompts residents to flee

    Fighting in Ukraine prompts residents to flee

    Monday, July 28 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-07-28 19:47:50 GMT
    Officials in rebellion-wracked eastern Ukraine say at least eight civilians have been killed by fighting and shelling in two cities held by separatist militants.
    Panicky residents in an eastern Ukrainian town fled their homes Monday carrying a few possessions in plastic bags and small suitcases as shells exploded in the distance, fighting that also prevented an international police...
  • Oil depot ablaze amid clashes in Libyan capital

    Oil depot ablaze amid clashes in Libyan capital

    Monday, July 28 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-07-28 19:47:26 GMT
    The Libyan government is appealing for "international help" after several oil tankers caught fire amid clashes over the country's international airport in the capital, Tripoli.
    A fire at the oil depot for the airport in Libya's capital raged out of control Monday after being struck in the crossfire of warring militias battling for control of the airfield, the latest violence to plague the...