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No plea entered by Lompoc woman charged in death of neighbor, 74

She remains in custody at Santa Barbara Co. Jail
Posted: 11:52 AM, Aug 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-14 12:06:14-04
Defense requests mental health evaluation for Lompoc murder suspect

The arraignment for a Lompoc woman charged in the death of her 74-year-old neighbor was continued again.

Melissa Leigh Martin was back in a Lompoc courtroom Tuesday but after a few hours, the judge ruled to continue the hearing to September 17.

Martin has not entered a plea. Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom for Tuesday’s hearing.

The now 36-year-old is charged with murder for the death 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.

While the case has been forwarded to the DA’s Office, police say they’re still working to contact some people who may have more information that could help with the investigation.

Jail logs show Martin remains in custody with bail set at more than $2 million.