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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 10:08 pm | Fair 46º


Attorneys Subpoena Mental-Health Records in Goleta-Area Quadruple Murder Case

Nicolas Holzer has entered an insanity plea for killings of his parents and 2 children in 2014

Defendant Nicolas Holzer and his attorney, Christine Voss, appear in Santa Barbara Superior Court Tuesday morning.
Defendant Nicolas Holzer and his attorney, Christine Voss, appear in Santa Barbara Superior Court Tuesday morning.  (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

Mental health records are being subpoenaed in the quadruple-murder case against Nicolas Holzer, who is accused of killing his family in their home near Goleta in 2014.

Holzer has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, which means there is no doctor-patient privilege, Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Brian Hill said.

Mental health records from past treatment could hold relevant information to Holzer’s mental state, he said.

Hill issued a protective order in court Tuesday so the attorneys cannot distribute the mental health records to anyone — not even their own investigative teams — without coming back to get permission in court.

Authorities say Holzer called 9-1-1 on Aug. 11, 2014, to report that he murdered his family in their home in the 600 block of Walnut Park Lane.

Responding deputies found four bodies with multiple stab wounds, and the victims were identified as Holzer’s parents and his two children: William Charles Holzer, 73, Sheila Garard Holzer, 74, Sebastian Holzer, 13, and Vincent Holzer, 10.

A criminal grand jury indicted him in October 2014, and if Holzer is convicted, he faces the possibility of a life sentence without the possibility of parole for each count of murder.

Holzer appeared in court wearing orange Santa Barbara Jail clothing and glasses with thick black rims.

His curly gray hair and beard have been growing out since his arrest, which is a stark contrast to his bald, clean-shaven booking photograph and first court appearances.

Holzer is being represented by deputy public defenders Christine Voss and Mark Saatjian.

The case is being prosecuted by retired Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen and Deputy District Attorney Von Nguyen.

Thirteen subpoenas were briefly discussed in court Tuesday, including the Santa Barbara Jail, Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness, Santa Barbara Psychiatric Health Facility, Vista Del Mar behavioral health care hospital, the Hillmount Psychiatric Center in Ventura, and individual psychiatrists.

Some of the records requested in this case are for treatment of one of Holzer’s children, attorneys said.

In that case, the boy’s mother, Juanita Holzer, waived privilege so the records could be subpoenaed, Zonen said.

One subpoena requests medical records from Sansum Clinic, and Hill will privately review the records to determine if there is relevant information for the case.

“There’s a good likelihood that (Holzer’s) endocrinologist will testify at trial,” Zonen said.                                                                                                                   

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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