A deadly shooting that led to a nine-hour standoff was related to a marijuana-growing operation, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.
Nicole Honait Luxor, 61, of Paso Robles has been charged with one count of premeditated murder and five counts of attempted murder on peace officers. The self-described clairvoyant owned and operated the Dancing Horse Ranch & Retreat, a bed and breakfast that was also a venue for weddings and special events.
On Nov. 16, sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the property for a report of a possible deceased person. After they arrived, they found the body of Morro Bay native Ben Terra, 34. When deputies attempted to contact Luxor, according to a probable cause statement filed with the court, she fired on them, leading to a long standoff.
A search warrant filed in the case has been sealed, and a probable cause summary filed with the court contains few details. But Tony Cipolla, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said Friday that Terra was involved in a marijuana grow on Luxor’s property. The department seized 104 pounds of dry processed bud and 43 pounds of dried, manicured marijuana used to convert into hash or oils, Cipolla said. The grow on the property was initially set up to be legal, Cipolla said in an email, but it appeared to violate medical marijuana guidelines.
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Terra was on the property to cultivate and harvest marijuana for sale, Cipolla said. Terra’s father previously told The Tribune that his son had been doing work for Luxor.
Cipolla did not elaborate on a possible motive for the alleged murder, though the office does consider it drug related because Terra was there for the marijuana.
Terra was an environmental activist, commercial fisherman and surfer whose sudden death has prompted an outpouring of memories and photos on his Facebook page. He is buried at Cayucos Cemetery.
Luxor, who had no significant criminal record prior to the shooting, is set to appear in court again Jan. 5.