NewsCrime World

High-class hooker jailed for killing Google executive

Jail: Tichelman injected Hayes with heroin and left him without help when he passed out
Jail: Tichelman injected Hayes with heroin and left him without help when he passed out

A high-class prostitute charged with killing a Google executive with an overdose of heroin aboard his yacht has been jailed for six years after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and administering drugs.

The sentence at Santa Cruz County Superior Court brought a sudden and unexpected conclusion to a tawdry case that garnered national attention.

Tichelman, from California, injected Forrest Hayes with heroin in November 2013 then left without seeking help when he passed out on the yacht, authorities said. Mr Hayes had hired Tichelman several times before and they were taking drugs and having sex on the night he died.

Defence lawyer Larry Biggam said Tichelman, 28, was relieved to have the court proceedings behind her and was expected to serve three years of her sentence. She will be credited for the year she already served in jail.

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

The call girl was arrested eight months after Mr Hayes' death. Police said a surveillance video at the Santa Cruz harbour showed the woman gather her belongings, casually step over Mr Hayes' body, finish a glass of wine and lower a blind before leaving the yacht the night before the body was discovered.

The video also showed Tichelman panicking and attempting to revive Mr Hayes as he slipped into unconsciousness before leaving the yacht, Santa Cruz deputy district attorney Rafael Vazquez said.

"There was an obvious reaction that showed she didn't intend to kill," he said.

Yesterday's court hearing had been expected to set additional proceedings and Tichelman's plea surprised Mr Vazquez, who began by submitting a revised complaint specifying that Tichleman's manslaughter charge was to be involuntary rather than the more severe voluntary.

Then Tichelman's lawyer told the court his client intended to plead guilty to all counts.

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

Mr Hayes was a father of five, with two of his children of primary school age.

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

Mr Vazquez said Mr Hayes' family did not attend the hearing, but a lawyer representing them did.

Tichelman had been preparing to move out of California when she was arrested. She has wealthy parents and holds dual US and Canadian citizenship.