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Accused prostitute pleads not guilty in heroin death of Google executive

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 01:46

An accused prostitute charged with killing a Google executive pleads not guilty and her attorney says she's been unfairly demonized in the case. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Alex Tichelman was grim-faced in this Santa Cruz courtroom where she pleaded not guilty to eight criminal counts on Wednesday. The accused high-priced call girl is charged with killing a Google executive on his yacht off of California, by injecting him with a fatal dose of heroin. The charges include manslaughter, prostitution and heroin possession. SOUNDBITE: DEFENSE ATTRONEY ATHENA REIS SAYING: "I think she's concerned, like anyone would be in this situation. It's terrifying to be in jail." The judge denied a request to lower her one and a half million dollar bail, saying he wasn't impressed with Tichelman's ties to the community. Outside the courthouse, one of her defense attorneys said their client is being demonized. DEFENSE ATTORNEY LARRY BIGGAM SAYING "This case is about two adults engaging in mutual consensual drug usage in context of sexual encounter initiated by Hayes. No intent to harm or injure. Why would she? She was a source of income." Prosecutors say Tichelman injected heroin into 51-year-old Forrest Hayes, a father of five, during a tryst in November. They say he fell unconscious but instead of reviving him or calling for help, Tichelman stepped over his body to finish her wine before leaving. That still wouldn't make it manslaughter, her defense says. DEFENSE ATTORNEY LARRY BIGGAM SAYING "I don't believe its voluntary manslaughter. I see no intent kill or conscious disregard for Hayes' life." Local media reports in Georgia say police there are investigating whether Tichelman may also be linked to the death of another man from a heroin overdose. No charges have been filed in that case.

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Accused prostitute pleads not guilty in heroin death of Google executive

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 01:46