Preliminary hearing set for man accused of double murder

A preliminary hearing has been set for Jan. 24, 2019, exactly one year to the day prosecutors say Martin Christian Ehrke, 49, killed two women and disposed of their bodies at his family’s Arbuckle farm.

Ehrke, 49, pleaded not guilty earlier this year to killing 39-year-old Kimberly Lynn Taylor, whose body was found stuffed into a freezer, and 25-year-old Jessica Lynn Mazak, whose body was found submerged in a pond, at the 6069 Hillgate Rd. property where the two women were reported to have been staying.

The coroner said Taylor and Mazak both died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson on Sept. 5 also cleared Jan. 25, 2019, exactly one year to the date of Ehrke’s arrest, should the preliminary hearing require addition time for prosecutors to present sufficient evidence for him to stand trial on the double murder charges, which also include a special allegation that could carry the death penalty if convicted.

The Colusa County Sheriff’s Office said investigators discovered the gruesome scene at the farm after they responded to a call from a roommate, who said he returned home on Jan. 25 and discovered blood on the walls and the two women missing.

Ehrke was questioned and subsequently arrested at a Colusa residence the same day, after Taylor’s bludgeoned body was discovered in a chest freezer inside a bedroom.

Mazak’s body was found the following day in a pond located on the property. Investigators also found illegal marijuana growing on the property as well as narcotics, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Ehrke, who has remained in custody at the Colusa County Jail since his arrest, is represented by Colusa-based public defender John K. Hinely.

Ehrke is scheduled to next appear in court on Dec. 12 for a case review.