SAN JOSE -- Lawyers and relatives of the 22-year-old woman charged as an accessory to the murder of Monte Sereno millionaire Ravi Kumra accused authorities on Tuesday of playing games by refusing to disclose any evidence against her.
"They need to stop this circus and show evidence or release her," said Sandra Mitchell, the mother of Raven Dixon, 22, who appeared in court Tuesday shaking and straining with her shackled wrists to wipe away tears. "They're playing really dirty with her."
Three men have been charged with murder for the Nov. 30 killing of Kumra at his Monte Sereno estate. Dixon, who was first arrested on prostitution and drug charges, had known Kumra for years and had attended a big party at his house last year. Now, she is accused of harboring at least one of the men charged with killing Kumra.
"This poor girl is sitting there and is confused as to why she's there," said one of her defense lawyers, Denise Zingale. "I need to know what they have against her. It's very upsetting."
Deputy District Attorney Kevin Smith said, however, that Dixon is "well aware of why she's being held," and because the case is considered gang related -- he wouldn't explain why -- police have to be even more careful with their investigation.
"When charges were brought against all of these defendants, the police asked for and a judge agreed to seal all of the paperwork," Smith said. "The reasons for that sealing still exist and as soon
Dixon's case was ordered held over until 2 p.m. Feb. 4, when she will join the men charged in the home-invasion killing: Lukis D. Anderson, 26; Javier R. Garcia, 21, of Oakland; and Deangelo J. Austin, 21. Smith said he will attempt to consolidate the four cases.
Kumra, 66, was a wealthy tech investor who once owned The Mountain Winery concert venue. But divorce files and other civil lawsuits accused Kumra of being a ruthless businessman who lived a sordid lifestyle filled with prostitutes, illegitimate children and drugs. He was accused by former business associates of orchestrating a "sham divorce" to hide millions of dollars in assets from creditors. The divorce was finalized in 2010, but his ex-spouse Harinder Kumra still lived in the home with Kumra.
Dixon's mother, who attended the court hearing with a dozen other relatives, said Tuesday she wants to know why her daughter was arrested instead of any number of women who attended a "big party with Brazilian escorts" at the Kumra mansion about six months ago. "Why wasn't everyone pulled in?" asked Mitchell. "Why just her?"
Mitchell declined to discuss her daughter's background, except to say that she comes from a "good family" who all showed up to support her Tuesday. Dixon's 3-year-old son, whose father was also at the hearing, waved from the gallery to his mother in her red jail suit. Mitchell also said that her daughter didn't have a home to harbor anyone in because she was mostly living with relatives in recent months, and that she tried calling Kumra after the break-in, proving that she didn't know he was dead.
Dixon's defense lawyers, Zingale and John Ambrosio, had requested reams of discovery from the prosecution, but in a brief hearing Tuesday were handed only a thin packet containing the already-public charging document and her rap sheet.
"We have nothing saying why they're holding her," Zingale said after the hearing. "It tells me that maybe they're looking for someone else. It's a way of keeping evidence against this other person under wraps."
The killing has riveted the exclusive hamlet of Monte Sereno. But police and prosecutors have remained tight-lipped, saying little more than Kumra's ex-wife had called police frantically at 1:30 that morning, saying at least one or more intruders had broken into their 7,000-square-foot gated estate and had beaten her up. When police arrived, they found Ravi Kumra dead. Coins, jewelry and cash had been stolen.
Dixon is being held in jail in lieu of $1 million bail. She was charged in the case after she was arrested Dec. 18 in Mountain View for allegedly offering an undercover officer sexual services for $600 and cocaine for $50. The prostitution and drug case is pending separately.
Contact Julia Prodis Sulek at 408-278-3409. Follow her at Twitter.com/@juliasulek.