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Goleta-Area Man Accused of Killing His Family Enters Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity Plea

A man facing murder charges for allegedly killing his family in their home last summer entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in Santa Barbara County Superior Court Tuesday.

Nicolas Holzer, 45, is facing four murder charges after authorities say Holzer called 9-1-1 late on Aug. 11, 2014, to report that he had murdered his family in their home in the 600 block of Walnut Park Lane near Goleta.

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.

The family’s Australian shepherd, Dixie, also had been stabbed to death, authorities said. 

On Tuesday, Holzer entered his plea and Judge Brian Hill appointed two psychiatrists to the case, who will conduct an evaluation of the suspect.

The doctors appointed were Brandon Yakush and David Fennell, according to Holzer’s public defender, Christine Voss.

“They have not yet done an evaluation because they first need to be notified of their appointment by the court and then the evaluation process begins,” Voss told Noozhawk.

If Holzer is convicted, he is facing the possibility of a life sentence without the possibility of parole for each count of murder. 

His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 1.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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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