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Three men who could face the death penalty in the Nov. 30 murder-robbery of a Monte Sereno resident appeared together for the first time today in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County as a judge required them to return next month for a plea hearing. Lukis Anderson, 26, Javier Garcia and Deangelo Austin, both 21, all dressed in dark red prison jumpsuits, each agreed to waive their rights to preliminary examinations and come back to record pleas on Feb. 4.
The men have been charged with murder in the death of Raveesh Kumra, assault with a deadly weapon in the beating of his wife Hariner, plus robbery and false imprisonment in a late-night home invasion at the couple’s house in the 18000 block of Withey Road in Monte Sereno. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said it may seek the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibly of parole for the defendants because Kumra was murdered during the commission of a robbery.
The defendants allegedly stole cash, collectable coins, jewelry and other personal property at Kumra’s home the night of the murder, beat Hariner Kumra with a metal object and held both victims against their will in their house, prosecutors said. Santa Clara County Judge Jerome Nadler denied a motion by Austin’s defense attorney Melissa Adams to have Austin stand in the doorway of the courtroom to keep the media from photographing him. Austin then walked into the courtroom with his head bent down and turned his back to the audience, as did Garcia, while Anderson stood facing the TV and newspaper cameras by a row of seats reserved for criminal suspects.
“We’re not going to talk at all,” Adams told a reporter in a hallway outside the court at the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice. Garcia and Anderson are represented by the public defender’s office. A fourth suspect in the case, Raven Dixon, 22, was arraigned separately on Dec. 21 on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder in Kumra’s death. Her connection to the case has not yet been made clear.
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