A Rhode Island man charged with murdering a disabled Kneeland woman and assaulting her caretaker pleaded not guilty today to all charges.
Judge John Feeney appointed the county’s Conflict Counsel’s Office to represent Austin Michael Medeiros, and Deputy Conflict Counsel Meagan O’Connell entered the not guilty pleas on his behalf.
Medeiros declined to give up his right to a preliminary hearing within 10 court days of arraignment, so the hearing was set for May 3. Deputy District Attorney Candace Myers said she expects the hearing to take about 90 minutes.
Medeiros, 27, allegedly murdered 28-year-old Emily Rose May Lobba on April 3 in her home on Greenwood Heights. Lobba’s caretaker told law enforcement she arrived at the house for a scheduled visitation and a man refused to let her in.
The man then assaulted the caretaker, she says, before fleeing in Lobba’s van. He then led police on a chase, at one point allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road, before fleeing on foot into the Arcata Community Forest. He was arrested a week later in Santa Cruz as he reportedly was attempting to steal a boat in the harbor.
Medeiros’s arraignment was postponed Monday when he asked for time to hire his own attorney. Today he told Feeney he had made “phone call after phone call” but was unable to find anyone.
Although law enforcement has said Medeiros is from Warwick, Rhode Island, he was convicted of misdemeanor drug charges in Humboldt County in 2016. He also is charged with violating probation on that case.
Medeiros is accused of murder, assault, battery and driving against traffic during a police pursuit. The criminal complaint does not allege that he used a weapon.
Lobba’s father, Alex Lobba, watched the hearing today via Zoom. Her parents live in the Ventura area.
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