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Tentative April Trial Date Set for Goleta-Area Quadruple-Murder Case

Nicolas Holzer has entered an insanity plea to charges he murdered his parents and two sons in August 2014

Defendant Nicolas Holzer and his attorney, Christine Voss, appear in Santa Barbara Superior Court on April 26, 2016.
Defendant Nicolas Holzer and his attorney, Christine Voss, appear in Santa Barbara Superior Court on April 26, 2016.  (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk file photo)

The criminal trial for the man accused of murdering his parents and his children in their home near Goleta may start in April, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

Nicolas Holzer was arrested after allegedly calling 9-1-1 on Aug. 11, 2014, to report he had murdered his family in the residence on the 600 block of Walnut Park Lane.

Responding deputies found four bodies with multiple stab wounds, and the victims were identified as William Charles Holzer, 73, Sheila Gerard Holzer, 74, Sebastian Holzer, 13, and Vincent Holzer, 10.

The family dog, an Australian shepherd named Dixie, was also stabbed to death, authorities said.

A criminal grand jury indicted Holzer for four murder counts, and he has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Mental health records have been subpoenaed in the case, and experts have been working on reports for months.

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

Nicolas Holzer Click to view larger
Nicolas Holzer (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

The case has a trial readiness date set for March 7 and a trial date of April 7, said retired deputy district attorney Ron Zonen, one of the prosecutors on the case.

“We are competing for court space with a number of other cases, including a different murder trial scheduled to begin the same day, same court,” he said in an email.

In civil court, Holzer’s siblings filed a lawsuit in August in an attempt to prevent him from inheriting property or other assets from the trust of his parents, whom he is accused of killing.

William and Sheila Holzer had a family trust that divided their estate in equal shares to their three children, and Scott Holzer is named trustee of the estate.

Scott and Suzanne Holzer ask the court to determine Holzer “feloniously and intentionally” killed his parents, and is therefore not entitled to any of William and Sheila Holzer’s property.

About a week after that lawsuit was filed, Holzer’s ex-wife, Juana Holzer who lives in southern California, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against against Scott Holzer, trustee for the family trust.

Juana Holzer, the mother of Sebastian and Vincent who was married to Nicolas from 2001 to 2006, sued for general and punitive damages, in addition to funeral and burial expenses.

Nicolas Holzer was granted custody of the boys after a contentious court battle, and the complaint alleges William and Sheila Holzer “knew, or should have known, that Nicolas represented a very serious and/or imminent threat of committing grievous bodily harm upon Vincent and Sebastian.”

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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