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August Date Set for Orcutt Homicide Preliminary Hearing

A tentative summer date has been set for the preliminary hearing in the case of a Lompoc man accused of fatally shooting the mother of his child on Easter Sunday last year.

Jorge Tovar Fernandez, 27, appeared before Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Gustavo Lavayen on Wednesday morning for a brief hearing.

The defendant, also referred to as Jorge Fernandez Tovar, is charged in connection with the April 16 killing of Elyse Erwin, 28, of Santa Maria.

Erwin’s body was found in a residential parking area on Goodwin Road in Orcutt. She had been shot in the head.

The victim and the defendant have a young child together.

Tovar Fernandez has been charged with first-degree murder plus a special circumstance for lying in wait, and allegations including discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury, and use of a firearm.

A preliminary hearing was tentatively set for Aug. 8 but is expected to change since the judge typically has a full court calendar on Wednesdays.

Deputy District Attorney Fabiana Fede estimated the preliminary hearing will take three days.

Defense attorney Jeremy Lessem said the attorneys are waiting to receive GPS-related information in advance of the preliminary hearing and hope to have the data before August.

Attorneys agreed to return June 20 when they and the judge expect to finalize the date for the preliminary hearing.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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