The woman charged as an accessory in the murder of Monte Sereno businessman Raveesh 'Ravi' Kumra pleaded not guilty Thursday.
During an afternoon hearing in Department 33 of the San Jose Hall of Justice, Raven Chanel Dixon, 22, of Alameda declared her innocence.
Dixon appeared before Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Shapero, who also heard from the attorneys representing the three other suspects in the case, Lukis D. Anderson, 26, Javier R. Garcia, 21, and Deangelo J. Austin, 21.
Kumra was killed early morning Nov. 30 at his Withey Road mansion. The statement of facts related to the case revealed Los Gatos Monte Sereno police believe he asphyxiated and died after he was blindfolded and gagged during the home invasion-robbery.
"He asphyxiated," said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Smith, who's trying the case. "They caused his death."
Dixon also agreed to waive time, which means there's no longer pressure in the case to proceed in 60 days or the setting of a preliminary hearing. Judge Shapero denied a request to withdraw Dixon time waiver.
However, defense attorneys' request to separate the four suspects was denied and Judge Shapero ruled all four will be tried together.
Amendments were also granted to add two gang enhancements for Garcia and Austin. The men have each been charged with six felony counts of murder, assault, criminal threats, false imprisonment, robbery and residential burglary.
Additional charges for Dixon are still being considered, said Smith.
Smith said Dixon was arrested in Mountain View and has been charged with prostitution. The man charged with pimping in that case is a member of the criminal street gang in Oakland called "Ghost Town."
Smith said Garcia is a member of the same gang and Dixon has friends who are either members of the same group or their relatives are members of the "The Money Team," another criminal street gang in Oakland, which Austin allegedly belonged to.
Dixon is being held on a $1 million bail. The men are being held without bail.
Smith said Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police officers are still actively looking for additional suspects in the case.
Santa Clara County Public Defender Kelley Kulick, who's representing Anderson, has asked Judge Shapero to seal documents that she said contained attorney-client privileged information, but which a "third party" could release to the public. The judge granted her request advising her that once that information is revealed, she would have to notify the authorities.
The case's next hearing was set for 9 a.m. March 19 in Department 39 for a status update.
About a dozen family members of Dixon sat in the courtroom wearing T-shirts that read, "We love you Raven," and the url of a website that's been created to aid with her defense, www.freeravendixon.org.
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