An early morning walk turned fatal on 8/1 in Santa Maria when Frederick Holgate, 69, was partially decapitated by an axe-wielding assailant. According to police reports, Holgate was walking just a few blocks from his home on East Enos Drive when the alleged murderer, Nicholas Bendle, 20, attacked him around 5 a.m. Authorities were led to Bendle-who had been reported missing to authorities a day earlier after he failed to come home after a friend’s funeral-when his mother discovered him covered in blood a few hours later and called 911. Bendle’s bail was denied at an 8/4 hearing.


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