Updated: 12 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 6: It's not known whether additional charges of gang enhancement will be granted for at least two of the three men accused of killing Monte Sereno businessman Raveesh Kumra.
During a court hearing this morning at the San Jose Hall of Justice, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Smith said the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department, being assisted by many other area law enforcement agencies, is continuing to search for additional suspects.
On Friday, Feb. 15, it's anticipated at least the "statement of facts" related to the case will be unsealed to defense attorneys and the media.
Because attorneys representing Raven Chanel Dixon—the only female suspect arrested in the case—want to to get her preliminary hearing going by filing her 60-day time waiver, attorneys representing the three men suggested in court that the technicalities of granting such a procedure to Dixon would alter their clients' cases.
"This is an ongoing investigation. There's multiple people who have been arrested over a period of time," Smith said. "The Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department and many other agencies are still working around the clock on this case. They've done a great job and they'll continue to work hard to make sure everyone who was involved in this case is brought to justice."
Dixon had originally faced an accessory to murder charge with a gang enhancement in the Kumra case. However, her attorney, Denise Zingale, said she's now being accused of harboring after the fact, or aiding in advance of.
"We're open to considering her charges to best reflect her actual conduct," Smith said.
Gang enhancements are being sought for defendants Javier R. Garcia, 21, and Deangelo J. Austin, 21. "The concern of all the attorneys is that you have one defendant (Dixon) saying 'I want to rush this' and there are three who are not interested in rushing it," Santa Clara County Alternate Defender Chris Givens said.
Dixon's mother, Sandra Mitchell, accompanied by Pastor Derrick Mann and other friends and family, accused the DA's office of lying. "They've lied five times ... she didn't know the other suspects. All this is not right," she said. "My daughter, in 22 years of her life, has never been arrested of a gang charge ... When she got arrested they said it was a gang charge."
If the three defendants are joined with Dixon, they'll have to have their preliminary hearing by April 2, said Givens.
Attorney Kelley Kulick said she believed that according to case law, the other attorneys don't have a right to say they're not ready for the 60-day rule and push the case out. "Case law says we have to do the hearing with her if she's joined with us," Givens said.
Objecting to their clients being tried together and complaining that they still have not received any discovery in the Monte Sereno Raveesh Kumra murder case, attorneys for the three men and one woman in jail accused of killing the former owner of The Mountain Winery requested more time during a hearing Wednesday morning.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Shapero scheduled the case's next hearing at 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14.
At that time, attorneys for defendants Raven Chanel Dixon, 22,
Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Smith, who's trying the case, is hoping Shapero will allow him to consolidate the case by putting all four suspects together.
However, the attorneys are objecting to that with Dixon's attorneys—John Ambrosio and Denise Zingale—declaring in Department 33 of the San Jose Hall of Justice this morning that their client is ready to plead not guilty to the accessory to murder charge with a gang enhancement in the slaying of Kumra, 66, who was killed Nov. 30 in his 18630 Withey Road Monte Sereno home during a robbery-invasion type of crime. His wife, Harinder, was severely beaten.
Judge Shapero didn't rule on gang enhancements being sought for Garcia and Austin. He also didn't rule on the motion requesting that all four suspects be tried together.
In an unrelated matter, Dixon will appear in court in Palo Alto at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 13 on charges of