A prostitute who admitted guilt in the overdose death of a Google executive in 2013 was sentenced to six years in jail by a California court Tuesday.
Alix Tichelman, 28, entered a guilty plea to felony charges of involuntary manslaughter, administering drugs, misdemeanor prostitution, and destroying or concealing evidence, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Police arrested Tichelman in July 2014, months after the body of Forrest Timothy Hayes was found on his docked yacht in the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor, dead from a heroin overdose.
The two met on SeekingArrangement.com and were together on the night Hayes died after a drug-fueled sexual encounter. Hayes — a 51-year-old married father of five who worked at Google X, the tech giant’s innovation lab — had hired Tichelman several times before, according to the Associated Press.
Police said surveillance video showed Tichelman injecting Hayes with heroin and leaving the scene without calling for help after he became unresponsive. She finished a glass of wine, lowered the blinds in the cabin and stepped over his body on her way out, police said.
“This woman came into court today and simply plead guilty as charged on each and every single charge on the complaint,” Santa Cruz prosecutor Rafael Vazquez told the Washington Post Tuesday. “We’re not surprised that she did that because there’s no way you can argue against the video.”
During her trial, Tichelman’s lawyer argued that she had no motive to kill.
“Why would she?” attorney Larry Biggam said, according to the AP. “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.”
Initially, Tichelman pleaded not guilty to the charges against her. Due to a change in California’s drug laws that went into effect on Jan. 1, a felony drug possession charge was changed to a misdemeanor charge, Vazquez said.
“It’s a sad and tragic case,” Vazquez said outside court Tuesday, according to the newspaper. “The [Hayes] family has dealt with a great deal of stress and scrutiny and a great deal of scorn.”
Tichelman will be credited for nearly a year already served in jail and is expected to serve three more years before parole, according to the AP. She will serve the remains of her sentence in a county jail, rather than prison.
Vazquez said he disagreed with the judge’s decision not to order Tichelman to serve her time in a state prison, but he said he has no basis to appeal the case.
“We want to convey a sincere apology to the Hayes family,” Jerry Christensen, a lawyer for Tichelman, said in court. “This was an accident and a panic, and she is so, so sorry.”
[This post has been updated.]