Prostitute pleads guilty in Google exec's death

A 27-year-old call girl is sentenced to 6 years in jail after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in a Google executive's death on his California yacht.

Terry Collins Staff Reporter, CNET News
Terry writes about social networking giants and legal issues in Silicon Valley for CNET News. He joined CNET News from the Associated Press, where he spent the six years covering major breaking news in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before the AP, Terry worked at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Kansas City Star. Terry's a native of Chicago.
Terry Collins
2 min read

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A prostitute charged in the 2013 heroin overdose death of a Google research and development executive pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and administering drugs.

Alix Tichelman was sentenced to six years in jail after pleading guilty in a Santa Cruz, Calif., courtroom, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Tichelman, 27, was arrested and charged with murder last July for allegedly injecting Forrest Timothy Hayes, 51, with a lethal dose of heroin while aboard his 50-foot yacht docked in a Santa Cruz harbor in November 2013. The pair had an ongoing relationship; Hayes met Tichelman online. They'd had sex the night he overdosed, authorities said.

Tichelman fled the scene, authorities said. Surveillance video from Hayes' yacht shows Tichelman stepping over his unconscious body several times to gather her belongings, including a needle. She even calmly sipped a glass of wine before she lowered a blind and left the boat. Hayes' body was discovered the next day.

Hayes was a married father with five children and was an executive for Google's X division, which develops some of the search engine's most ambitious projects, including driverless cars and Wi-Fi beaming balloons.

"It's a sad and tragic case," said Rafael Vazquez, a Santa Cruz County prosecutor, after the sentencing. "The (Hayes) family has dealt with a great deal of stress and scrutiny and a great deal of scorn."

Tichelman, a high-end call girl originally from Georgia, was preparing to leave California when she was arrested some eight months after Hayes' death. She was also charged with destroying evidence and prostitution, both misdemeanors.

Tichelman is expected to serve half of her six-year sentence, the judge said.