Independent Defender Office Attorney Ken Mandel has been appointed to represent alleged prostitute Katrina Marie Fritz, the fifth suspect in the Monte Sereno murder case of former Mountain Winery owner Raveesh "Ravi" Kumra.
Fritz, 33, is scheduled to appear today Thursday, Feb. 28 in Santa Clara County Superior Court at 3 p.m. in department 23 before Judge Philip Pennypacker for identification of counsel and possibly enter a plea.
However, being her second appearance, it's unlikely she'll do the latter. She will most likely be joined to the court date for the other four defendants in the case: Javier Garcia and Deangelo Austin, both 21, and Lukis Anderson, 26; and Raven Chanel Dixon, 22.
She was arraigned Feb. 22 on charges of murder and robbery. She's being held at the Santa Clara County Jail without bail, just like the men in the case. Dixon's bail has been set at $1 million.
All five defendants are being linked to the home invasion robbery of Kumra's mansion on Withey Road in Monte Sereno on Nov. 30.
Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Smith said the suspects caused the 66-year-old high-tech investor to asphyxiate after putting tape around his mouth and blindfolding him during the crime. His wife, Harinder Kumra, was also beaten.
The men are each facing six felony counts of murder, assault, criminal threats, false imprisonment, robbery and residential burglary. Two gang enhancement charges have been added to Garcia and Austin.
Dixon has been charged
Los Gatos Monte Sereno police arrested Fritz on Feb. 19, according to a court clerk.
Mandel is a member of a collection of private attorneys in the county who join a list to work on criminal cases.
Fritz won't be asked to waive time today, either, meaning her attorney won't ask for a speedy handling of her case.
Mandel, a former county public defender, will most likely just announce he'll be Fritz' attorney of record and he'll receive whatever discovery is in her court file for examination.
On Thursday morning, a court clerk said the court file for Fritz is in the courtroom with the judge and media could not access any information in it. Patch is trying to obtain the criminal complaint filed against her.
Mandel will also most likely have a chance to speak to Fritz.
All five suspects could appear together at 9 a.m. March 19 in department 39 of the San Jose Hall of Justice on Hedding Street.
The case has been presided by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Shapero, who's been filling in for Judge Sharon Chatman who will oversee the proceedings going forward and until trial.
Chatman has been the judge in the trial of former test engineer Jing Hua Wu, accused of killing three managers at a Santa Clara semiconductor company in 2008.
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