The two suspects in the shooting death of Brookings resident Judi Schlem have been charged with first degree murder and will appear in court April 14 for felony arraignment.
Robert Allen Langley, 26, and Brian Keith Randall, 30, were in court last week for a preliminary hearing.
Chief investigator Sgt. Roger Milligan, of the Salinas Police Department, told The Pilot Tuesday the murder charges will remain, and the arraignment hearing will determine whether or not they may receive the death penalty if convicted.
I strongly suspect one will and one will not, Milligan said. But thats just my personal opinion, and Ive been wrong before.
Both men remain in custody with bail amount set for Langley at $527,500, and for Randall at $522,500.
Judi Schlem was hit by a stray bullet and killed instantly when she and her daughter-in-law, Anne Schoenborn Schlem, were unloading Christmas gifts at Anne and Matt Schlems Salinas apartment.
A drug transaction was going down, Milligan said. She just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Its sad, so sad. Its so depressing for all of us.
Salinas Police Department investigator Tim McLaughlin said that Langley contacted the drug dealer involved in the shooting to make a cocaine purchase the night of Schlems murder.
Randall was set up for a failed robbery, which resulted in both the dealer and Randall firing shots, with Randalls bullet hitting Schlem before he fled the scene, McLaughlin said.
Langley was soon arrested and Randall turned himself in to police in Lakewood, Calif.
A trial date will be set at the April 13 hearing. Milligan said he expects the trial in the Monterey County Court in Salinas to last two to four weeks.
He said his two investigators, McLaughlin and Joe Gunter, will be important witnesses during the trial.
The three of us have been out there from the beginning, said Milligan, adding that he will not be a witness.