The four defendants charged with the recent killing of a man at a Paso Robles motel entered not-guilty pleas in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Thursday.
Tabatha Brown, 29, of San Luis Obispo; Alfonso “Pancho” Fierros, 32, of Paso Robles; Jennifer Velten, 28, of Paso Robles; and John Wesley Barrett, 41, of Atascadero each entered their pleas before Judge John Trice.
Each is charged with murder in the stabbing death of a 55-year-old Paso Robles man who was found dead in his room at the Farmhouse Motel on Aug. 22.
The man was identified by the Sheriff’s Department on Thursday as Robert Kenichi Uyeno.
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It took the coroner’s office more than a week to identify him because next of kin had to be found in Iowa and Hawaii.
The man was found to have been stabbed multiple times in the torso, according to Paso Robles police investigators. Authorities believe the homicide was drug-related.
Uyeno was found up to 12 hours after he died in the room and was believed to have lived at the motel, police said.
Barrett was arrested by Paso Robles investigators at his home in Atascadero; Fierros and Velten were arrested while hiding on an 80-acre ranch in Bradley; and Brown was arrested in County Jail, where she already was in custody on an unrelated arrest warrant.
Each of the defendants was appointed an attorney by the court because they couldn’t afford to hire lawyers. Each is being held in County Jail without bail.
The four defendants are scheduled to return to Trice’s courtroom Oct. 13 at 8:30 a.m. for a pre-preliminary hearing.