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Woman found guilty in Google exec’s death in Georgia

ATLANTA – Prosecutors in Georgia said they will seek the extradition of a woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a Google executive’s overdose death, so they can face separate charges in the fatal overdose of her boyfriend in the near of Atlanta.

Alix Tichelman, 30, was deported to Canada last year after serving a California sentence for a fatal shot of heroin to Google executive Forrest Hayes on his yacht in November 2013.

A Georgia grand jury in September indicted Tichelman on suspicion of the crime of murder and distribution of heroin and oxycodone in September 2013 the death of Dean Riopelle, who is in possession of a popular Atlanta music venue. The indictment says Tichelman caused Riopelle’s death by him drugs, while he was drunk.

Court records, not an attorney for Tichelman, and a number for her could not immediately be found. Reached by phone, her mother said she had no comment. No one responded to messages left at numbers listed for other relatives.

A statement this week from the office of Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said that the case is “still active and open,” and that prosecutors “are working with the Canadian authorities” for the arrest and extradition of Tichelman. Spokesman Chris Hopper would not say what, if any, steps have been taken to bring her back to Georgia.

A notice in the court file dated Sept. 30 says Tichelman is not available for prosecution “as a Result of the Issuance of a Grand Jury Warrant,” and that the matter is therefore placed on the judicial.

A California court in 2015 convicted Tichelman to five years in prison after she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and administering medicines. With credit for time served and for good behavior, she was released after serving about half her sentence.

Hayes hired Tichelman, who authorities said was a prostitute, in November 2013. Tichelman injected Hayes with heroin on his yacht and left without seeking help when he passed out, authorities say.

Surveillance video at the port of Santa Cruz to let her nonchalantly stepped over Hayes’ body to finish a glass of wine and lowering a blind before leaving the yacht, police said. Santa Cruz Deputy district Attorney Rafael Vazquez said the video also showed her panic and try to breathe new life into Hayes.

Hayes’ body was discovered the next day, and Tichelman was arrested eight months later.

About two months before Hayes’ death, she made a frantic call to 911 as Riopelle suffered an overdose in their house in Milton, just outside of Atlanta.

Riopelle’s sister said in an interview after Tichelman’s arrest in California, that the couple had been dating for about two and a half years and lived together.

Riopelle owned the Masquerade in Atlanta, a popular venue for rock, punk and metal bands.

In September 2013, Tichelman called police, saying Riopelle threw her to the ground, according to the police. Riopelle told officers Tichelman had taken pills and drank alcohol, and was stage diving and exposing her breasts that night at the Masquerade. He said, he took her home because he did not approve.

Riopelle also told officers that she bit him on the finger and threatened to hit herself and tell police Riopelle had hit her. A neighbor confirmed hearing Tichelman say that. She was charged with battery and arrested; Riopelle was not.

Less than two weeks later, Tichelman called 911 in a panic, saying her boyfriend had overdosed and would not respond.

Tichelman tried for five minutes to revive him before calling 911, according to police. She said that she was in the shower when she heard a crash and came out to find Riopelle unconscious. Tichelman said she did not know how much drugs Riopelle had taken, but that he had been on a “bender the last few days,” according to the police report.

Riopelle died at a hospital a week later. An autopsy report listed his death as an accidental overdose of heroin, oxycodone and alcohol.

After Tichelman was arrested in California, police in Georgia said that they had another look at Riopelle’s death.

In recent interviews with KSBW-TV in California, Tichelman described what happened with Hayes on the hunt. She said that she thought that he’d just passed out. They said that they wanted it to seem as if she hadn’t been there so not to cause problems for him with his wife, the police or his job.

“I wish I could go back and change what happened, but I can’t and that is something that I have to live with and something that his family has to live,” she told the tv station.

There is no question of Riopelle or the Georgia indictment in the published parts of the interview.

Tichelman told the tv station she is clean and sober and working in a normal job in Canada. She said that she was in a “special relationship” and is very close to her family.

“Really, things could not be better,” she said. “I just try to stay positive and make the right choices.”

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