Stephen Andrew Carreiro, 25, appeared in San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton for further arraignment on charges of assaulting an elderly woman and resisting arrest, in addition to the homicide charge.
Carreiro allegedly attacked 62-year-old Lalitaben Patel and a second unidentified woman at the 639 W. 11th St. motel at around 7:10 p.m.
His murder charge includes five attached enhancements, which include rape, rape by a foreign object, sodomy, mayhem and burglary.
According to Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa, the enhancements are different crimes allegedly committed during the homicide and allow prosecutors to seek life in prison or the death penalty for Carreiro.
Testa declined to elaborate on what kind of object might have been used to sexually assault the victim, but did say a person’s fingers could constitute a foreign object.
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.
Judge Franklin Stephenson on Tuesday ordered that the case be reassigned to Judge Bernard J. Garber for the duration of proceedings.
Testa said after the hearing that it's typical for the first judge on a case to reassign it to a judge who will solely oversee the rest of the proceedings.
Stephenson also denied a motion by Andrew Quinn, Carreiro's court-appointed public defender, to allow his client to wear civilian clothes during court hearings. He claimed that media cameras allowed to take pictures during the hearing could influence "public opinion" and cause "prejudice" against Carreiro if the case goes to trial.
"At some point that will be addressed," Stephenson told Quinn. "Right now, this is only the second hearing for further arraignment."
Carreiro has not entered pleas to the charges because "written reports" from the Tracy Police Department are still waiting to be received by the court, Testa said after the hearing.
No information about the second victim has been released.
Carreiro remains at San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp without bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 14 in Stockton.
• Contact Joel Danoy at 831-4229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.