Woman pleads not guilty in Monte Sereno murder

February 15, 2013 1:26:58 PM PST
A woman charged with being an accessory to the suffocation death of a Monte Sereno man pleaded not guilty in San Jose on Thursday and a judge agreed to join her case with three men charged with murdering the man.

Raven Dixon, 22, entered the plea in Santa Clara County Superior Court before Judge Kenneth Shapero, who made her a co-defendant with Javier Garcia, 21, Lukis Anderson, 26, and Deangelo Austin, 21, in the murder of Raveesh Kumra, Deputy District Attorney Kevin Smith said.

Shapero also ruled in favor of the prosecutor's motion to add gang enhancement allegations to the murder charges against Garcia and Austin, Smith said.

Kumra, 66, a wealthy former owner of a Saratoga winery, was found dead in his Monte Sereno home from asphyxiation on Nov. 30 after a late night home invasion and robbery of cash and valuables, prosecutors said.

The three men forced their way into Kumra's home and bound, blindfolded and gagged him with duct tape, which led to his death. They also beat and tied up his wife Harinder Kumra, who survived, prosecutors said.

The accessory charge against Dixon includes a gang enhancement allegation because prosecutors claim she is acquainted with Austin, a member of an Oakland street gang called "The Money Team."

The Money Team has been associated with home invasion robberies targeting Asian and East Indian families, who are tied up while the attackers ransack their homes, prosecutors said.

Dixon was one of three alleged prostitutes to have visited Kumra's home when his wife was away or met him at hotels in Los Gatos and homes of his friends in the last couple of years, Smith said.

Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police detectives, who examined Kumra's laptop computer, found a backup copy of the contents of Dixon's cellphone on the computer because Kumra set it to transfer data from phones using it to recharge.

The backup copy of Dixon's phone from last April, which Dixon had done inadvertently, included photos of Kumra's house, grounds, gates and other entry points.

Prosecutors said the photos are evidence of her complicity in planning the home invasion with gang members that resulted in Kumra's murder.

The data from Kumra's phone on the laptop revealed that he had several phone numbers and email addresses for Dixon and her home address, prosecutors said.

The other two prostitutes identified in Kumra's laptop were Dixon Katrina Fritz, who is Austin's sister, and Ashley Davis, a childhood friend of Dixon and the sister of Roland Davis, who is a member of The Money Team gang along with Austin, prosecutors said.

Dixon's alleged pimp, who was not named in a police report in the case unsealed last week, is a member of an Oakland street gang known as Ghost Town, Smith said.

Kumra's Google Voice account revealed that Dixon attempted to contact him nearly every month from June to November last year, with the last contact on Nov. 14, prosecutors said.

DNA analysis from the Santa Clara County Crime Lab in San Jose found a match with Austin's DNA on duct tape found beside Kumra's body, prosecutors said.


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