Stephen Andrew Carreiro, 25, of Tracy, was formally arraigned in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Tuesday, July 10, on charges of assaulting an elderly woman and resisting arrest.
He appeared in court for the first time since the alleged crimes, and was wearing a red San Joaquin County Jail uniform. The color marks him as a security risk who could harm himself or provoke harm from other jail inmates.
Carreiro allegedly attacked 62-year-old Lalita Patel and a second unidentified woman at the 639 W. 11th St. motel on Saturday at around 7:10 p.m.
Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa confirmed after the hearing that a second woman was attacked at the motel.
According to police reports, when officers arrived, they located and arrested Carreiro following an alleged struggle with the suspect, and then found the victim "adjacent to the office of the motel.”
Patel was pronounced dead at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital at 8:17 p.m., according to Tracy police reports.
Carreiro was taken to Sutter Tracy and treated for undisclosed injuries the night of the alleged attack. He was booked into county jail at 9:33 a.m. Sunday, July 8, according to the sheriff’s website.
Following the hearing Tuesday, Testa said the enhancements attached to the murder charge are different crimes that were allegedly committed during the homicide.
He said they include rape, rape by a foreign object, sodomy, mayhem and burglary, and noted that the attachments allow prosecutors to seek life in prison or the death penalty for Carreiro.
“These were attached because of the special circumstances that this case presented,” Testa said.
Proceedings for making this a possible death penalty case wouldn’t be heard until after a preliminary hearing in about three months, he noted.
Testa declined to elaborate on what kind of object might have been used to sexually assault the victim, but he did say that a person’s fingers could constitute a foreign object.
Judge Franklin Stephenson appointed the public defender’s office to represent Carreiro. Public defender Peter Fox was present to accept the case on behalf of his office.
Stephenson also granted a continuance for further arraignment July 24 in the Stockton courthouse. Fox is expected to use the time to speak with his client or assign the case to an assistant public defender from his office.
Carreiro is being held without bail at San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.
No friends or family members of the victim were present during the hearing because they were working at the motel, Testa said.
According to Tracy police Lt. Greg Farmanian, Patel is a member of the family that owns the Hacienda Inn.