A Lompoc woman charged with murdering her 74-year-old neighbor has pleaded not guilty.
Melissa Leigh Martin, 36, entered the plea Tuesday in a Lompoc courtroom, three months after the murder of Eldri Terese Jauch.
Police say Jauch’s body was found in Martin’s apartment in June a few days after Jauch’s sister reported her missing.
Martin was arrested outside a home in Santa Ynez shortly after.
Detectives say Jauch died from blunt force trauma. They’re not releasing a possible motive but say the complaint against Martin alleges that she used a baseball bat in the commission of the murder.
Jail logs show Martin remains in custody with bail set at more than $2 million.
She is due back in court Oct. 22.