Judge seals autopsy report in Hacienda Inn killing
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Dec 05, 2012 | 3728 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
STOCKTON — During a brief hearing in the Stockton branch of San Joaquin Superior Court for homicide suspect Stephen Carreiro on Tuesday, Dec. 4, a judge sealed the autopsy report for the woman he is accused of killing.

Following a request from Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa, Judge Bernard Garber ordered the autopsy report for Lalitaben Patel, 62, of Tracy sealed until the conclusion of Carreiro’s trial, which is expected to begin some time in May 2013.

Testa requested the documents be sealed to ensure no potential jurors would be prejudiced by the information they contained. He said it would increase the prosecution’s chances of getting an impartial jury.

The defense did not object to the action. Carreiro’s attorney, Andrew Quinn, declined to comment about the case.

Carreiro is accused of killing Patel and attacking a second woman at the Hacienda Inn, 639 W. 11th St., around 7 p.m. July 7.

According to Tracy Police Department reports, officers arrived at the Inn at 7:15 p.m. and were immediately directed to a room next to the office, where two people were reportedly trying to subdue a naked man, later identified as Carreiro.

Patel was taken by ambulance to Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

Carreiro is charged with murder, resisting a police officer, rape, sodomy, murder during the commission of a burglary, rape by a foreign object, elder abuse and committing a violent crime on the vulnerable.

Carreiro and his attorney are due back in San Joaquin County Superior Court at 9 a.m. Jan. 28 for a pre-trial conference with Testa. A readiness hearing has been set for 9 a.m. April 29, and a trial is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. May 10.

Carreiro is being held without bail in San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.

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