Murder case postponed

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The man charged in connection with the murder of two women at his family’s almond farm in Arbuckle was back in Colusa County Superior Court last week for a brief review of his case, ahead of resetting his preliminary hearing. 

Martin Ehrke, 50, is charged with killing Kimberly Lynn Taylor, 39, and Jessica Lynn Mazak, 25, last January.  

Ehrke’s preliminary hearing had originally been set for Jan. 24, 2019, exactly one year to the day that Taylor and Mazak were last seen alive. 

Colusa County Sheriff’s investigators received a tip around 3:55 AM the following morning when Ehrke’s roommate discovered blood inside the home where the two women were also staying.

Taylor’s body was found Jan. 25, inside a chest freezer inside a bedroom on the property. Investigators later found Mazak’s body submerged in a pond. 

Both women died of blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Colusa County Coroner’s Office. 

Ehrke was arrested the same day at a residence in Colusa. 

The case has been continued twice, and Public Defender John K. Hinely, on Dec. 12, asked Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey to postpone re-setting Ehrke’s preliminary hearing until he receives complete transcripts in the case. 

Ehrke has been charged with two counts of first degree murder, in addition to a special allegation for multiple murders. Because of the special allegation, he could face the death penalty. 

Ehrke, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, will be back in court on Feb.6, 2019, at which time Judge Thompson is expected to set the date for a preliminary hearing. He remains in custody at the Colusa County Jail. ■