Kumra Murder: No Pleas Yet From Defendants in Monte Sereno Slaying

The three men and one woman accused in the murder of Monte Sereno businessman Raveesh 'Ravi' Kumra to return to court at 9 a.m. Feb. 6.


No pleas were entered Monday afternoon by the attorneys representing three men and one woman charged in the murder-robbery of Monte Sereno businessman Raveesh 'Ravi' Kumra Nov. 30, 2012.

During a brief court hearing in Department 33 of the San Jose Hall of Justice, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Shapero rescheduled a hearing for the men to possibly enter pleas at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6.

The only woman suspect in the case, Raven Chanel Dixon, 22, appeared for the second time. She was accompanied by her attorney, John Ambrosio, who requested his client's 60-day time waiver be filed. A defendant has 60 days after being arrested to have some legal action taken on a case. Dixon has sat in jail without such waiver being requested or granted.

The men,

Santa Clara County Public Defender Kelley Kulick, who's representing Anderson; Santa Clara County Alternate Defender Chris Givens, who's representing Garcia; and Timothy B. Rien, who's representing Austin, along with Ambrosio, asked for their clients' appearances to be waived.

Judge Shapero agreed. Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Anne Seery appeared on behalf of prosecutor Kevin Smith, who was tied up with another legal matter. She asked for the continuance until Wednesday.

Rien told Judge Shapero he had filed a so-called 980 motion to keep cameras away from the courtroom on Jan. 18 and asked the magistrate to review his request before allowing cameras on Wednesday.

Rien is concerned that by allowing TV cameras to show his client's face in the media, the image will become ingrained in the public's mind as the person who committed the crime without a trial.

No TV cameras were present Monday. It was believed KGO-TV would be the pool camera for the media, meaning all reporters would have access to video footage of the proceedings. However, the men never entered the courtroom and only a Mercury News photographer took pictures of Dixon who sat dressed in bright red jail garb with a disconcerted look on her face.

The courtroom was full of Dixon supporters, including her pastor and mother, who addressed the media outside the court house.

Kulick expressed frustration with the fact that her office has received no information about what led to the arrest of Anderson, her client. "We have absolutely not one piece of paper," she said.

The attorneys said they hoped by Wednesday they would have a better picture of what documents the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office will be releasing to them, as the file has been sealed by the court at the request of the prosecutor.

The men have been charged with six felony counts of murder, assault, criminal threats, false imprisonment, robbery and residential burglary in the murder-robbery of Kumra, who was killed Nov. 30 in his Monte Sereno mansion on Withey Road.

Kulick said she would object to her client being tried with the other three defendants, as has been requested by a motion filed by Smith.

Givens said on Wednesday the court will review more discovery related to the case. "We haven't been provided discovery on this case," he said. "We're saying that ... four individuals are being held in jail without showing us any evidence of their guilt, whatsoever."

"Everything the DA has on the case is sealed," Givens said. "We have seen zero on this case. The media knows more about the case than we do because an officer in Oakland is sharing information.

"It basically colors the case in a bad way. We can't even respond to that," Givens added.

Givens said he's joined the three other defense attorneys to request the case's court file be unsealed.

Ambrosio, Dixon's attorney, said he had filed his client's 60-day waiver because "it's getting ridiculous now. She's been in there [Santa Clara County Jail] since December. She's entitled to a speedy trial within 60 days and then 10 days to a preliminary hearing ... but I haven't gotten any discovery."



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