Nicolas Holzer, the 45-year-old man accused of stabbing to death his two sons and his parents in their Goleta home last month, entered a not guilty plea through his attorney on Tuesday. Sitting behind a wall of protective glass, Holzer muttered just one word ​— ​agreeing to a time waiver ​— ​so quietly that even the judge could not hear him. Public defender Christine Voss told the court she may enter a not guilty plea by reason of insanity at a later date.

Nicolas Holzer
Paul Wellman

In the months before the incident, Holzer reportedly made a number of peculiar reports on the phone and in person to the Sheriff’s Office, saying he knew the location of the missing Malaysia airliner, was responsible for the Deltopia riots, and was the ghostwriter of Elliot Rodger’s manifesto, according to a source who worked at the same company as the accused and his father, Bill Holzer. Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover said she could not release any information about prior contacts because of the “anticipated prosecution.” Prosecutor Ron Zonen said it would be “premature” to comment on the reports.

Judge Brian Hill will preside over the case. Holzer potentially faces the death penalty and is charged with four counts of first degree murder and one count of animal cruelty. He will return to court on November 4.


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