A MONTE SERENO HOMICIDE – A CLOSER LOOK AT THE LIFE AND DEATH OF RAVEESH ‘RAVI’ KUMRA (PART I)
December 31, 2012 at 8:30PM (Follow Cody S Investigations on Facebook to receive updates on the Raveesh Kumra / Monte Sereno Homicide –> Click Here)
Followed by these reports was a brief statement by the Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police Department confirming the arrest of DeAngelo Austin, Javier Garcia, and Lucas Anderson in relation to the Kumra homicide investigation.
The latest arrests come nearly one week after the related arrest of Raven Chanel Dixon, 22, and nearly one month after the incident in which the one time owner of the Saratoga Mountain Winery, Raveesh ‘Ravi’ Kumra, was found dead in his Monte Sereno, California residence in the early morning hours of November 30th.
At the onset of the arrest, police vaguely framed the incident as being a home invasion type robbery or burglary. Since these initial reports, authorities have indicated their belief as to a pre-existing tie or relationship between Kumra and his killers.
Details of the latest arrests are limited. However, some information is publicly available as to the circumstances surrounding the arrests.
THE LATEST ARRESTEES
ARRESTEE #1 >> DEANGELO JOSEPH AUSTIN was arrested in Sacramento County and subsequently transferred and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on December 29th. Austin is currently being held without bail pending arraignment in the Santa Clara County Superior Court on January 3, 2013 at 12:00PM. According to the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections, Austin is being held on 1 count of 187 PC (murder). Further, Austin is being held pursuant to California Penal Code Section 3056.
Penal Code Section 3056 is a law that grants law enforcement the authority to hold a person in custody based upon an alleged violation of parole. So, where a person who has been granted a conditional early release from prison (i.e. released on parole) and that person is subsequently accused of violating the specific terms of parole (i.e. failing to report to a parole officer) and/or accused of committing a new criminal offense (i.e. committing murder while on parole), the jail / agency can hold that person without allowing for bail. This ‘no bail hold’ is typically in place pending the outcome of both the parole revocation hearing and the outcome of the newer criminal charges under PC 3056.
In Austin’s case, this means Austin is on parole / was on parole prior to the latest charges in relation to the Kumra incident. Further, parole likely indicates that Austin has been incarcerated in a state prison at some point prior to being released on parole. And, it is likely that Austin’s parole officer (with the California Department of Corrections) was immediately notified of Austin’s arrest on the murder charge, in which case he/she likely deferred the parole revocation hearing pending the outcome of the criminal charges.
ARRESTEE #2) JAVIER GARCIA, also known as “Javier Ruben Rodriguez Garcia,” was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on December 27, where he is currently held without bail. The Santa Clara County Department of Corrections indicated that Garcia is held on one count of 187 P.C. (Murder) and the Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police Department confirms this stems from the death of Kumra. Garcia is scheduled to appear in the Santa Clara County Superior Court on January 2, 2012 at 12:00PM to be formally arraigned on the murder charge.
ARRESTEE #3) LUCAS ANDERSON was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on December 7, 2012. However, the December 7 booking (according to authorities) does not stem from anything related to the Kumra incident / Anderson happened to be in custody on unrelated charges. Reports indicate that Anderson was interrogated by law enforcement within the past week with regard to the Kumra incident and was thereafter administratively booked on new charges relating to the Kumra incident (i.e. because Anderson was already in custody, the ‘booking’ on the newer murder and related charges was more a matter of procedure).
Amongst the three latest arrestees, Anderson faces the most charges (8-charges total) and arguably the most serious of the charges. The charges include:
1) PC 1203.2 (Probation Violation / Probation Hold)
2) PC 187 (Murder)
3) PC 211/213(A)(1)(2) (Robbery / First Degree )
4) PC 245(a)(1) (Assault w/ a Deadly Weapon or Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury)
5) PC 422 (Making Terroristic Threats)
6) PC 236/237 (2 counts) (False Imprisonment)
The Santa Clara County Department of Corrections denied comment as to what charges pertain to the unrelated December 7 arrest and what charges pertain to the latest arrest in relation to the Kumra incident. However, given the few facts police have released with regard to the Novermber 30th incident, I have a few ideas as to what is occurring.
To start, it is my belief that investigators theory with regard to Kumra’s death is that Anderson is the perpetrator (i.e. the one who went into Kumra’s residence on November 30, tied up Harinder Kumra / Ravi Kumra’s wife, and in some way killed Kumra). My reasoning for this conclusion will be discussed herein. Further, based upon the lack of similar charges against Garcia and Austin (i.e. neither are charged with assault, robbery, false imprisonment, etc.), I doubt police believe Austin and Garcia were present within the Kumra’s residence. If police did believe Austin and Garcia played a role in the supposed actual act or acts of tying up Harinder Kumra and killing Ravi Kumra, it is likely there would be charges against Austin and Garcia for such (robbery ). However, Austin and Garcia both face murder charges only.
With regard to the first count (1203.2 /probation violation/hold), this is similar to the parole hold that Deangelo Austin faces. The probation hold allows the jail/department of corrections to hold Austin until a disposition is reached in the case. What this means is that Austin is/was likely on probation. This also means he has been found guilty or plead guilty to some level of criminal offense in the past and has been granted a conditional early release (i.e. released on supervised probation). Thus, his latest arrest on the murder charge likely sparked the probation violation section being added to his list of charges. The key difference between probation and parole is that probation involves release from jail and not prison. Prison is reserved for the gems that are sentenced to one year or more for a felony conviction. Jail is reserved for the gems that are sentenced to up to one year, which can be for felony or misdemeanor offenses.
For the substantive charges, let’s start with the robbery charge against Anderson — PC 211/213(A)(1)(2). Robbery (a felony), in its purest form, means that a person takes the property of another by use of force OR fear. The most classic example includes walking into a bank and handing a note to the teller that reads ‘I have a gun, give me the money.’ Here, the force or fear would be using the firearm and the verbal demand to induce the teller to turn over the cash (property). A less common but equally definitive example of robbery would include a bully going up to another kid on the schoolyard and saying ‘give me your Oreos or I will beat you up.’ Here, the force or fear would be the conditional threat that the bully will beat up the kid unless the kid gives up his Oreos (property). In the context of the Kumra investigation, if the robbery charge against Anderson does pertain to the November 30th incident at the Kumra estate, this likely means that police have alleged in their reports that Anderson not only threatened the victims (probably Ravi Kumra and/or Harinder Kumra) by use of force or fear, but that Anderson took some sort of property with him when he left the residence. Although police have not indicated that any property was taken from the Kumra residence, it is common for police to exclude such details from public circulation in order to use this information as leverage in a potential future interrogation. However, if the criminal ‘plan’ was merely to enter the Withey residence and to just kill Kumra (and not to take any property), then it is unlikely there would be a robbery charge. Even if the initial plan was to commit robbery and the death resulted, but for some sort of asportation with any property from Kumra’s residence (carrying away of some item or items Kumra’s property from the residence), there would likely only be an attempted robbery charge or no robbery charge at all. However, in the context of the Kumra investigation, the existence of the robbery charge against Anderson likely means the police will allege that Anderson took some sort of property belonging to Kumra.
Further, the subsection of robbery Anderson is charged with [PC 213 (A)(1)(a)] is robbery in the first degree. What does this mean? PC 213(A)(1)(a) is the most aggravated / most severe level of robbery and in order for a person to be found guilty under this section, the defendant’s conduct must include “voluntarily acting in concert with two or more other persons” and committing “the robbery within an inhabited dwelling house.” In the context of the Kumra incident, if the robbery charge stems from such, this likely means that police have put forth information in their report to the effect that Anderson, “acting in concert” (potentially working in concert with fellow arrestees Austin and Garcia) committed robbery (i.e. took property from the Kumra residence by use of force or fear) and did so “within an inhabited dwelling” (i.e. using the force or fear to obtain the property within the confines of the Kumra residence and in the presence of Ravi and/or Harinder Kumra).
Next, I will address the Penal Code Section 422 charge that Anderson faces. This is commonly referred to as ‘making terroristic threats.’ The purest example of this offense would be a person stating to another person “I am going to kill you.” Regardless of whether the person making the threat actually carries through with the threat, this crime is ‘complete’ / a person is guilty of 422 PC by virtue of making the threat. The law itself provides that “any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family’s safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.” Again, my inferences as to the circumstances that give rise to these charges are premised on the assumption that the charges stem from the Kumra incident. If such assumption is true, it is likely the 422 PC charge stems from a threat by Anderson against Harinder and/or Ravi Kumra during the November 30 incident that resulted in the death of Kumra. Perhaps Anderson threatened to kill or harm Harinder Kumra if she ‘talked.’ Perhaps not. Also, this could stem from the same events from which the robbery charge stem (i.e. the force or fear used in the robbery incident could be a threat of harm or death, which would explain the 422 PC charge). Although some of the events may overlap / seem to be redundant, it is not uncommon for police and prosecutors to charge an individual with any and all offenses that fit the facts to see what sticks.
Ironically, Ravi Kumra himself was charged with violating this same law (422 PC) in 1998 after allegedly making repeated terrorstic threats to a female employee of the Saratoga Mountain Winery – the venue of which Kumra, at the time of the alleged threats, was the owner.
Next is the 245(a)(1) PC charge. This is a ‘wobbler’ meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. This determination is made by the district attorney granted he/she decides to move forward with charging an individual with a 245 related offense. 245(a)(1) of the California penal code provides that “any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.”
If this charge does in fact relate to the Kumra incident, my guess is that it is a result of the supposed assault on Harinder Kumra – Ravi’s wife. In their initial release of information to the public, the Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police Department indicated that their 911 dispatchers were initially apprised of the early morning November 30 incident by Ravi Kumra’s wife — Harinder ‘Rani’ Kumra. These reports indicated that Harinder reported to dispatchers that she was “tied up” by the perpetrators and only after she was able to free herself was she able to place the frantic call to police to report the Withey road incident that resulted in her husband’s death. As such, my guess is that the 245 PC charge against Anderson stems from alleged conduct by Anderson in tying up Harinder and potentially committing prior or subsequent physical assaults against Harinder. The initial reports also indicated that Hardiner was hospitalized for “injuries” sustained during the November 30 incident, which would seem consistent with the 245 PC charge against Anderson in that any injuries sustained by a surviving victim (i.e. Harinder) could be prosecuted by way of 245 PC. Further, 245 PC is not charged where the victim dies, as this would more likely result in murder charges. As such, it is unlikely the 245 PC charge stems from any assaultive actions by Anderson against Ravi Kumra as Ravi was killed.
Next, Anderson is being held on two counts of false imprisonment (236/237 PC). My guess is these two counts involve the “false imprisonment” of both Ravi and Harinder Kumra on Novermber 30th within their Withey Road estate.
In light of the latest arrests, how do Raven Chanel Dixon, Deangelo Joseph Austin, and Javier Garcia play into the mix?
Aside from confirming the arrest of these individuals, the Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police Department has essentially remained silent with regard to any theory or theories as to the role they allege each of the arrestees played in the incident that resulted in Kumra’s death.
A Link Between Ravi Kumra and Javier Garcia. Despite this silence, Cody S Investigations has spoken with a source close to the investigation. This source indicates a link between of the the latest arrestees — Javier Garcia — and Ravi Kumra. The link? …a young female nearly 43 years Kumra’s junior. Yes, a 23-year-old female of San Leandro, California that is the alleged ex-girlfriend of Javier Garcia and, as the source alleges, yet another a young woman that had some type of relationship with Kumra. The extent of the supposed relationship between the 23-year-old female and Kumra is unknown, but it would seem more than a coincidence if in fact both Kumra and Garcia had/have a link to the young woman. Note that this 23-year-old female is NOT the same the 22-year-old woman in custody (Raven Chanel Dixon) in relation to the investigation. There is no indication by the source as to a connection between Dixon and the Garcia/ex-girlfriend/Kumra triangle. Further, there is no indication the 23-year-old at the heart of the Garcia/Kumra connection is in custody.
What Remains for Raven Chanel Dixon? Also remaining unanswered is the question of how 22-year old Raven Chanel Dixon, who was formally charged with being an accessory after the fact to the murder of Kumra, plays into the mix. Police have yet to comment on this, only confirming that Dixon was arrested on a number of charges, including a felony narcotics offense and prostitution offense.
As reported in our last post, Dixon was arrested on or around December 19, 2012 and subsequently booked into the Santa Clara County Jail. As of today, according to the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections, Dixon remains in custody at Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas, California.
Reports indicate that the December 19 arrest of Dixon resulted from a “sting” operation whereby an undercover peace officer solicited Dixon to engage in an act of prostitution. Further, reports indicate that in the communications/ “negotiations” between Dixon and the undercover officer prior to meeting with the undercover officer at a motel in Mountain View, California, the officer asked that Dixon bring drugs along with her — commonly referred to as ‘party favors’ in the sex industry. In line with the undercover officer’s request, Dixon brought a small amount of cocaine with her to the hotel where she was to engage in some level of sexual intercourse with the officer, but was instead taken into custody.
According to the source, after the arrest of Raven Dixon, investigators presented Dixon with photographs of the deceased Kumra and according to the same source, this was the first time Dixon was apprised of the death of Kumra – “that was the first time she (Dixon) learned of Ravi’s death.”
As to any relationship between Kumra and now 22-year-old Dixon, since Dixon’s mid-December arrest, another source provided Cody S Investigations with information as to the events surrounding the initial contact between Kumra and Dixon some six years ago. The source went on to indicate that at some point in 2005 or 2006, Ravi Kumra responded to then 15-year-old Raven Dixon’s Craigslist post, which resulted in a 5+ year relationship between Dixon and Kumra. According to the same source, the Kumra/Dixon relationship included sexual contact between Dixon and Kumra.
Note that in California, sexual intercourse between an adult (someone 18 or older) and a person under 18 years of age is unlawful – subjecting the non-minor / adult party to criminal charges. This is true even where the intercourse or sexual act is “consensual,” as a minor (i.e. a fifteen year old female) is deemed unable to provide consent. As such, if Kumra and Dixon did engage in sexual intercourse while Dixon was under the age of 18, such could have constituted a felony (on the part of Kumra) as then 60-something Kumra would have been well beyond the three year threshold in terms of the age difference between Kumra and then underage Dixon (See California Penal Code Section 261.5). Why would a 60-something-year-old man be engaging in relations with underage women nearly 45-years younger? This is yet another aspect of the overall investigation the Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police Department has yet to comment on. However, it sheds light on a situation where Kumra would be the “suspect” and then underage Dixon would be the “victim.” And, it sheds light on a situation where Kumra could have added even more to his list of criminal offenses, which include felony DUI, assault, and making terroristic threats. In the event that Kumra had been charged and convicted, he would have likely been required to register as a “sex offender” under California’s “Megan’s Law” (See California Penal Code Section 290).
Who is Shelton McDaniels?
Yet another piece of information has come about and yet another piece of information has yet to be publicly acknowledged or addressed by the Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police Department. Sources indicate that on December 19 (the same day Raven Chanel Dixon was arrested in the drug/prostitution sting operation initiated by police), also arrested was Shelton Timothy McDaniels of Emeryville, California. Arrest reports indicate that Daniels was booked on 2 charges – PC 266(H) – “Pimping” and 3056 PC (a parole hold as described earlier in this post).
Public records indicate that Raven Chanel Dixon’s December 19 arrest for prostitution and other charges was recorded under the jurisdiction of the Mountain View Police Department (the motel where Dixon was arrested by undercover officers is located in the City of Mountain View). McDaniels’ arrest for “pimping” was also recorded under the jurisdiction of the Mountain View Police Department. Coincidence? Unlikely. A source familiar with both Dixon and McDaniels indicated that McDaniels is the boyfriend of Raven Dixon and also that the December 19 arrest of McDaniels stems from the same incident in which Dixon was arrested. Also speaking to the notion that the two arrests are related is the nature of the charges – Dixon was charged with prostitution and McDaniels was charged with a prostitution related offense. A natural inference could be a scenario where McDaniels was on ‘watch’ to ensure the safety of Dixon as she was entering a motel with a stranger, whom she (Dixon) believed was just another customer providing money in exchange for sex. Further, Dixon may have been entering what she believed would be a routine act of prostitution and drug use at the Mountain View motel, however, unfortunately for McDaniels and Dixon, the customer was, in reality, an undercover police officer. It is a common scenario where a third party, usually a male (maybe McDaniels) would stand watch to ensure the deal went without a hitch.
There is no indication that McDaniels is being charged with any offenses relating the to the Kumra homicide (i.e. murder, accessory after the fact, etc.). Further, no acknowledgement has been made as to the arrest of McDaniels by the Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police Department, any other involved law enforcement agencies, or the law enforcement task force that spearheaded the Dixon / McDaniels arrest operation.
According to the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections, McDaniels is being held in the Santa Clara County “Main Jail South” and is scheduled to appear in Department 88 of the Santa Clara County Superior Court on January 9th at 9:00AM.
My initial reaction to the arrest of Dixon – and now the arrest of McDaniels? ….a feasible deduction that an old man angers a young female prostitute and the angry boyfriend of the young prostitute seeks revenge by killing the old man solicitor of the young prostitute. However, this scenario is squelched in the McDaniels/Dixon scenario, as McDaniels has the best alibi of them all — he was in jail at the time Kumra was killed.
Sources indicate that McDaniels was in custody in the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County on the date of the killing of Kumra (November 30, 2012), which logically excludes McDaniels as the perpetrator in the killing of Kumra. But, what about some sort of coordinated effort by McDaniels? If this is the case or if police believed this was the case, any correspondence with the “outside world” (i.e. between McDaniels and anyone not in custody) would likely be via telephone. Jails have sophisticated recording systems by which ALL outbound calls between inmates and non-incarcerated parties are recorded and stored for extended periods of time. This includes not only calls where law enforcement is already monitoring an inmate’s actvity, but allows law enforcement to access audio recordings of all past calls. I suspect law enforcement has already reviewed McDaniels’ calls to the outside world before and after the November 30 killing of Kumra. And, as evidenced by the apparent lack of charges against McDaniels relating to the Kumra homicide, it is likely such calls did not contain any information linking McDaniels or Dixon to the killing of Kumra.
The final matter to address in this post involves the gang enhancement allegation against Dixon. Neither the Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police nor the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office have commented on the basis for which they have added a “gang enhancement” charge to those being brought against 22-year-old Raven Chanel Dixon. Sources close to Dixon’s inner circle of family and friends have expressed confusion as to the gang enhancement allegation, referencing that Dixon is not currently and never has been affiliated with any gang. One source indicated that Raven “may have been a lot of things,” but “she is not a killer and she is not a gang member.” The same source paints a picture of a young female struggling to provide for herself by turning to the “world’s oldest profession.” Further, Raven is described as being someone whom many around her feel is not capable of anything close to murder. One source described an incident where “Raven,” as her friends and family refer to her, was deeply bothered by someone killing a spider in her presence. This, the source went on to explain, is the Raven that is just “not capable of being part of a murder in any way.”
Many questions remain unanswered and much information is yet to come about as to the theories upon which authorities are basing their criminal complaints against the four that are now in custody in relation to the killing of Raveesh ‘Ravi’ Kumra.
Part II of this post (which is still to come) will dig deeper into life of Raveesh ‘Ravi’ Kumra – shedding light on Ravi Kumra’s professional and personal live(s). This will include a look at Ravi Kumra’s longstanding relationship(s) with prostitutes and a situation where Kumra is alleged to have fathered multiple children that are not his two children in common with Harinder Kumra and children whose mother is not Ravi Kumra’s wife – Harinder ‘Rani’ Kumra.
Until then, happy New Year. Stay safe and don’t drink and drive.
Cody Salfen is a California licensed private investigator and owns and operates Cody S Investigations (a California private investigation firm located in the Silicon Valley). Cody is a member of the California Association of Licensed Investigators, the Defense Investigators Association of California, the Professional Investigators Association of California, the National Council of Security and Investigation Services, and the World Association of Detectives. If you have any questions about this post, contact Cody at Cody@CodySInvestigations.com. Stay updated on developments in this case by following Cody S Investigations on Facebook.
Individuals with information regarding the Kumra investigation are urged to contact Sgt. Mike D’Antonio with the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department at 408-827-3219 or 408-354-6843.