Attorney: Woman charged in death of a Google executive had no reason to kill


Alix Tichelman, left, of Folsom, Calif., confers with public defender Diane August during her arraignment in Santa Cruz Superior Court on Wednesday. (Shmuel Thaler/Santa Cruz Sentinel via AP)

An attorney for a woman accused of killing a Google executive called his client’s case “extremely sad,” and said there was “no intent to harm or injure” the man.

“Why would she?” Larry Biggam told reporters Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. “He was a lucrative source of income to her. She appreciated the generosity and she had a motive, if any, to elongate, not end the relationship.”


Attorneys representing Alix Tichelman speak to the media following Tichelman’s arraignment on charges connected to the heroin overdose death of Google executive Forrest Hayes in Santa Cruz, Calif. (Monica Davey/European Pressphoto Agency)

Biggam’s client, Alix Tichelman, was arraigned Wednesday on manslaughter and drug charges, the Associated Press reports. Tichelman, 26, has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities say Tichelman, who they say is a prostitute, injected Timothy Hayes, a 51-year-old married father, with a lethal dose of heroin then gathered her belongings, finished a glass of wine, and left a yacht they were on without trying to help or call 911.

“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, according to the AP. “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.”

Authorities in Georgia are also looking into the drug overdose death of 53-year-old Dean Riopelle, which was initially ruled accidental. Here’s the 911 call Tichelman reportedly placed after finding Riopelle:

“Both subjects in these cases died of heroin overdoses so there’s just several factors we want to look at to make sure that we didn’t miss anything,” Milton police Capt. Shawn McCarty told the AP earlier this month.

Sarah Larimer is a general assignment reporter for the Washington Post.
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