Man accused in Arbuckle slayings enters not guilty plea

The man accused of murdering two women in Arbuckle last month waived time and entered a not guilty plea in the Colusa County Superior Court last Wednesday.

Forty-nine-year-old Martin Christian Ehrke – the man who investigators say killed Kimberly Lynn Taylor, 39, and Jessica Lynn Mazak, 25, at residence in Arbuckle on Jan. 24 – will appear in court again on April 4 for the setting of his preliminary hearing. Ehrke is being charged with two counts of first degree murder, in addition to a special allegation for multiple murders. Because of the special allegation, Ehrke could be facing the death penalty. Colusa attorney John K. Hinely has been appointed as his public defender.

Ehrke was arrested on Jan. 25, after officers received a report of suspicious circumstances at a residence in Arbuckle around 3:55 AM that morning. An anonymous reporting party called the Sheriff’s Office at around that time, and told dispatchers that he had returned home to discover blood on the walls of a residence he shared with the two women, who he hadn’t seen since around lunch on Jan. 24.

Officers responded and did a sweep of the property, locating Taylor’s body in a chest freezer at a secondary dwelling at the Hillgate Road property. Investigators later found Mazak’s body submerged in a nearby pond on the property. The Colusa County Coroner’s Office later determined that the cause of death for both women was blunt force trauma.

Shortly after they began investigating, officers found and detained Ehrke at a residence in Colusa and began questioning him before ultimately arresting him on suspicion of two counts of murder. ■

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Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at brian@colusacountynews.net