Three drifters accused of killing a tantra yoga teacher and a Canadian tourist days apart in California have entered pleas of not guilty.
Defendants Morrison Lampley, Sean Angold and Lila Alligood appeared in Marin County court Nov. 19, and Judge Kelly Simmons set a preliminary hearing for May 9, 2016. The three defendants could face the death penalty if convicted, according to the Marin Independent Journal.
The yoga teacher, Steve Carter, was shot to death while walking his dog on a hiking trail near Fairfax, California, on the afternoon of Oct. 5. The suspects allegedly stole his car and were arrested two days later in Portland, Oregon.
Carter founded the Ecstatic Living Institute with his wife, Lokita, in 1999. Together, they taught thousands of clients in seminars and workshops, according to the Institute's website. The two moved to Costa Rica in 2014 before returning in August 2015 for Lokita's breast cancer treatments.
"Our family is in deep mourning," Lokita wrote in a blog entry on the Ecstatic Living Institute website. "Remember – that hug you share with your partner today may just be the last one. We will never know what life has in store for us."
A gofundme page seeking $125,000 to support Lokita for living expenses and out-of-pocket medical expenses has raised over $96,000.
The first victim in the case, Audrey Carey, was found Oct. 3 in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Items stolen from Carey – including a tent, passport and camping equipment – were found in Carter's car along with a stolen gun allegedly used, according to the Independent Journal report.
Lampley, Angold and Alligood are charged with first-degree murder with the special circumstances of lying in wait and committing murder during a robbery. They also face charges of robbery, vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, animal cruelty and being in possession of stolen property.