published Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Arraignment for prostitute in Google exec's heroin overdose death

Alix Tichelman, left, of Folsom, Calif., confers with public defender Diane August during her arraignment in Santa Cruz Superior Court on Wednesday in Santa Cruz, Calif. Tichelman, an alleged upscale prostitute, is facing manslaughter charges for the November 2013 death of Forrest Hayes, a Google executive. Tichelman, who is also facing drug and prostitution charges, is being held on $1.5 million bail. She has also been linked to another death in Georgia.
Alix Tichelman, left, of Folsom, Calif., confers with public defender Diane August during her arraignment in Santa Cruz Superior Court on Wednesday in Santa Cruz, Calif. Tichelman, an alleged upscale prostitute, is facing manslaughter charges for the November 2013 death of Forrest Hayes, a Google executive. Tichelman, who is also facing drug and prostitution charges, is being held on $1.5 million bail. She has also been linked to another death in Georgia.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — A high-end prostitute accused of leaving a Google executive to die on his yacht after shooting him up with a fatal hit of heroin is scheduled to appear in a California courtroom Wednesday to answer to manslaughter, drug and prostitution charges.

Alix Tichelman, 26, who's being held on $1.5 million bail, may also get a bail hearing Wednesday at Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

Surveillance footage from the yacht shows Tichelman gather her belongings, including the heroin and needles, casually step over Forrest Hayes' body to finish a glass of wine, clean up a counter, then lower a blind before leaving the yacht on Nov. 23, police said.

The 51-year-old father of five was found dead by the captain of his 50-foot yacht Escape the next day.

The case has prompted police in Milton, Georgia, to re-examine the overdose death of Tichelman's former boyfriend Dean Riopelle, 53, the owner of a popular Atlanta music venue. Police said a panicked Tichelman called police, saying her boyfriend had overdosed on something and wouldn't respond.

She wasn't charged in the case, and an autopsy report listed Riopelle's death as an accidental overdose of heroin, oxycodone and alcohol.

It is not clear how long Tichelman may have been involved in prostitution, though police in Santa Cruz say she had many clients in wealthy Silicon Valley.

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