Thursday, May 23, 2013

Arcata double homicide suspect Bodhi Tree pleads not guilty: Case eligible for the death penalty

Arcata double homicide suspect pleads not guilty: Case eligible for the death penalty - Lorna Rodriguez/The Times-Standard

Bodhi Tree, 28, is accused of killing Christina Schwarz, 18, and Alan “Sunshine” Marcet, 27, with a handgun, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Christopher Wilson said. A special circumstance enhancement was added because there is more than one victim, which makes the case eligible for the death penalty, Wilson said.

Humboldt County Assistant District Attorney Kelly Neel said the district attorney's office hasn't decided whether to seek the death penalty.

”It's too early to make that determination,” Neel said.

Public defender Kevin Robinson said he will represent Tree once any conflict of interest determination is made.

Tree audibly said, “I didn't commit no murders,” as he conferred with his attorney, who tried to quiet him in court. Tree, originally from Garberville, has a Humboldt County criminal history that stretches back to at least 2007 and includes a guilty plea to resisting arrest after a 2011 high speed chase, according to court documents.

UC Berkeley School of Law Professor Franklin Zimring said multiple deaths are one of several factors that can qualify a case for the death penalty.

FOURTH UPDATE: No bail for double homicide suspect - The Times-Standard 5/18

Officials: Looking for gun used in weekend's double homicide - The Times-Standard 5/21

----- Presumably, they tested his hands for gunpowder residue that night, right? ------

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