The aunt of Joshua Begley, the Rohnert Park man charged with killing a well-known custom guitar maker, professed her nephew’s innocence this morning outside Sonoma County Superior Court. “We believe he’s innocent. They have some vengeance against him,” Debi Roland said. Begley was working that day at a construction job in Napa, she said, and he called his brother and said he thought someone was following him on the way to work. Another woman, who said she is unrelated to Begley’s family and did not want to be identified, said Begley was “in bed with his girlfriend” when the murder happened. Begley, 28, pleaded not guilty this morning to the stabbing murder of Taku Sakashta, 43, on Feb. 12. He also pleaded not guilty to felony burglary, robbery, evading police and a misdemeanor charge of resisting an officer in a separate case. Rohnert Park police found Sakashta’s body in bushes outside his
workshop at 643 Martin Ave. in Rohnert Park after Sakashta’s wife Kazuko told them he did not come home that night. Kazuko went to her husband’s workshop and noticed it was “in a suspicious state”, according to police who then discovered Sakashta’s body around 4 a.m. Police and the prosecution have referred to Sakashta as Sakashita, his last name on his California driver’s license. His Web site, however, uses Sakashta. Judge Rene Chouteau approved a request this morning by Deputy District Attorney Troye Shaffer to photograph Begley and get a DNA sample from him today. Chouteau said Deputy Public Defender Charles Ogulnik and a defense investigator may be present at those procedures. Begley did not waive his right to a speedy preliminary hearing. Chouteau scheduled the hearing for March 1.
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