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Preliminary Hearing Set for Man Charged with Slaying Ex-Girlfriend in Orcutt

Jorge Tovar Fernandez Click to view larger
Jorge Tovar Fernandez

The oft-delayed preliminary hearing for a man accused of fatally shooting the mother of his child on Easter morning nearly two years ago in Orcutt may occur in April

Jorge Tovar Fernandez, 28, of Lompoc appeared in Santa Maria Superior Court for the brief hearing on Wednesday.

Judge Gustavo Lavayen set the preliminary hearing for April 11 and 12 after Deputy District Attorney Fabiana Fede and defense attorney Jeremy Lessem estimated it would take two days. 

The new dates mean the preliminary hearing will occur days before the second anniversary of Elyse Erwin’s death on the morning of April 16, 2017.

Fernandez is accused of murdering his 28-year-old ex-girlfriend, whose 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.

The defendant 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 is held for a judge to determine if enough evidence exists for a defendant to face a trial, and typically involves limited defense.

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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