SAN JOSE -- Three defendants suspected of killing a wealthy Silicon Valley tech investor in his Monte Sereno mansion in November appeared in court Friday, but did not enter pleas.
Lukis Anderson, Javier Garcia and Deangelo Austin, who each face murder and robbery charges that could expose them to the death penalty, are scheduled to return to court Feb. 4. The three defendants remain in custody for their alleged roles in the killing of Raveesh Kumra, the 66-year-old former owner of Saratoga's Mountain Winery.
A fourth suspect, Raven Chanel Dixon, has been charged as an accessory to murder with a gang enhancement in connection with Kumra's death.
The criminal complaint against the three murder defendants alleges they killed Kumra and made off with a coin collection, jewelry and cash after ransacking his opulent, 7,000-square foot gated home in Monte Sereno.
Anderson, Garcia and Austin appeared in court in red jail garb, hanging their heads during a brief hearing before Superior Court Judge Jerome Nadler. Melissa Adams, Austin's lawyer, asked that Austin be allowed to remain outside court because there may be "identification issues" in his case and she expressed concern that media video and photographs could jeopardize his rights, but the judge ordered him into the courtroom to make his first appearance.
Adams declined to comment outside court. Deputy district attorney Anne Seery also offered no new information on the case, saying
Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police initially said the Kumra slaying was the first Monte Sereno homicide since 1972, but later confirmed a homicide occurred in 1983, the killing of 51-year-old Ali Sadeghi on Twin Creeks Road. The suspects -- Sadeghi's two sons -- were found guilty the following year of involuntary manslaughter. But while on bail pending sentencing, Admad and Sharam Sadeghi disappeared and are still at large.
Howard Mintz covers legal affairs. Contact him at 408-286-0236 or follow him at Twitter.com/hmintz.