Call girl’s six years for Google boss heroin death

Alix Tichelman appeared in court from custody to admit involuntary manslaughter. Picture: AP
Alix Tichelman appeared in court from custody to admit involuntary manslaughter. Picture: AP
Share this article
0
Have your say

A SEX WORKER has been jailed for six years in the United States for giving a Google executive a deadly dose of heroin.

Alix Tichelman, 28, from California, unexpectedly pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and administering a controlled substance at Santa Cruz Superior Court.

She was sentenced to six years in prison – bringing a sudden and unexpected conclusion to the case.

Deputy district attorney Rafael Vazquez amended the charge from voluntary to involuntary manslaughter before her lawyer told the court Tichelman would plead guilty to all charges.

Her lawyer Larry Biggam said Tichelman was relieved to have put the court proceedings behind her and was expected to serve three years of her sentence, with one year credited for time spent in custody.

“It was an accidental overdose between two consenting adults,” Mr Biggam said.

In 2013, Forrest Timothy Hayes was found dead aboard his 50ft yacht in Santa Cruz small craft harbour, California, after Tichelman administered the dose of heroin that killed him.

The pair had met several times before Mr Hayes’s death.

A surveillance video from the harbour showed Tichelman attempting to revive Mr Hayes as he slipped into unconsciousness, as well as sipping her wine, gathering her belongings and lowering a blind before she left the body without calling for help.

“There was an obvious reaction that showed she didn’t intend to kill,” said Mr Vazquez.

Tichelman – who operated as a sex worker booked online – was arrested in 2014, eight months after Mr Hayes’s death. Defence lawyer Mr Biggam said she also pleaded guilty to destroying or concealing evidence and engaging and agreeing to engage in prostitution.

Mr Hayes, an executive at the Google X research lab, was married and had five children. The charges were filed despite objections from his family, who feared further embarrassment. The family was represented by an attorney at the hearing.

Mr Vazquez said the charges were filed over the objections of Hayes’ family, who feared a public trial would further embarrass a wife and children traumatised by exposure of the Google executive’s double life.

“They just wanted this to go away,” the prosecutor said. “But we had a duty to pursue the case.”

Mr Vazquez said none of Mr Hayes’ family attended the hearing on Tuesday. Christine McGuire, a Santa Cruz lawyer representing the family, didn’t return a phone call after the hearing.

Tichelman had been preparing to move out of California when she was arrested in 2014 in connection with Mr Hayes’ death.

She is understood to have wealthy parents and dual citizenship in the US and Canada.

Her father Bart Tichelman is the chief executive officer of SynapSense, a company based in Folsom, California, which ­manages internet data centres worldwide.