After a preliminary hearing last week, Carlos Varela (pictured)
is set to stand trial for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, former
UCSB student Holly Lake. In a courtroom packed with Lake’s friends
and family – all wearing T-shirts emblazoned with her face –
Superior Court Judge Joseph Lodge ruled in the prosecution’s favor
that Varela be charged with murder with special circumstances.
Varela, 25, will face the death penalty or life in prison without
parole if found guilty. Testimony from detectives at last
Wednesday’s hearing suggested that Varela confessed to his mother,
less than a day after the incident, that he had stabbed Lake to
death. Varela’s former roommate and coworker also indicated Varela
admitted the crime to him in a telephone conversation hours after
the murder. Lake, 29, was found dead from multiple stab wounds in
the mountains near East Camino Cielo and Gibraltar Road last


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