"Prostitute" accused of Google executive's manslaughter pleads not guilty

Following her arrest in Santa Cruz, Alix Catherine Tichelman, a 26-year-old woman described by Californian police as a 'high-priced prostitute', is facing manslaughter charges in connection with the death of Forrest Hayes, 51, a Google executive, on 23 November, 2013. The police are also pressing charges for 'great bodily harm' and a drugs offence.

According to police reports, Ms Tichelman appears on CCTV footage showing her aboard the yacht Escape, seemingly collecting her possessions, tidying the yacht interior after Mr Hayes' death, and even polishing off the rest of her glass of wine, before lowering a blind and leaving the scene. Despite the fact that Mr Hayes was unconscious, police say Ms Tichelman made no attempt at first aid, neither did she contact the ambulance services. Mr Hayes' body was not discovered until the following day.

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It is alleged Tichelman injected Mr Hayes with heroin before abandoning him to die from a fatal overdose. Her arrest occurred on 4 July when a detective, posing as a prospective client willing to pay her in excess of $1,000 (£584), managed to lure her back into the Santa Cruz district.

Ms Tichelman holds both US and Canadian citizenship, and it is claimed she was about to leave California when police arrested her. The court later refused a request to release her without bail, opting instead to set bail to the tune of $1.5m.

Tichelman's defence-team lawyer, Larry Biggam, denied there was any motive for her to kill her client, saying: "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."

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