The two suspects being held in connection with the shooting death of Brookings residents Judi Schlem pleaded not guilty in a Monterey County court hearing earlier this week.
Brian Keith Randall, 30, and Robert Allen Langley, 26, were arrainged Tuesday. They both have been charged with murder, robbery, attempt to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit a crime and carrying a concealed weapon.
Schlem was shot when the two men were allegedly attempting to rob a third man, who was armed. Gunfire erupted and a stray bullet hit Schlem as she and her daughter-in-law were unloading Christmas gifts from her vehicle.
Salinas Police Department Investigator Sgt. Roger Milligan said narcotics were involved and the robbery victim did not have a license for his weapon.
Police have determined that the robbery victims gun was not the one that fired the fatal bullet. No charges have been filed against the man.
He was firing from the opposite direction, Milligan said, adding that the weapons were different calibre. The murder weapon has not been found.
Monterey County Assistant District Attorney Terry Spitz said the two suspects will next appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 16 for a preliminary hearing and to set dates for their trial.
Spitz said the defense can request a trial within 10 days, but it would be unusual in a murder case. He expects the suspects will not come to trial until late February.
Carmel Valley attorney, Joseph Landreth, who is representing Langley, agreed that he would be asking for much more time than the ten days.
Ive been practicing law for a long time, and from what Ive read, this is one of the greatest tragedies Ive ever been involved in, he said about the shooting.
When asked about the intended robbery victim he said, Hes a dope dealer.
Langley is being defended by Salinas attorney James Newhouse, who was not available for comment.
Schlems daughter-in-law, Anne, was notified by the district attorneys office that the suspects had entered not-guilty pleas.
Kay Schoenborn, Annes mother, said this week that Anne will probably be called as a witness in the trial.
Shes doing okay, she said about Anne. Shes doing better than I am.
Schoenborn has some concerns about her daughters and son-in-laws safety. She said the young couple were moved almost immediately from their apartment.
The intended robbery victim lived in the same apartment complex, police said.
At the time of the accident, Judi Schlem was in Salinas to attend her husbands and sons graduation from a correctional officers training program.
California Department of Corrections personnel provided funds and found a new apartment for the young couple. Family and church friends helped with the move.
She believes the Lord will take care of her, Schoenborn said about her daughter.