A man accused of causing the death of his girlfriend will be back in court next month, after his case was set for a preliminary hearing Wednesday.
Eric Allen Earle, 40, was arrested in January in Northridge by a surveillance team made up of federal marshals and was booked at East LA station, according the lead homicide detective on the case.
He is being held in Men’s Central Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
He’s due back in Department H at Los Angeles Superior Court in San Fernando on May 22.
The live-in boyfriend of murder victim Karla Barda was re-arrested Wednesday on suspicion of causing her death and is being charged with one count of murder.
“The marshals decided to help us out on the case once the arrest warrant was issued,” said Lt. Eddie Hernandez.
Earle was arrested on September 1, the day he called deputies to tell them that his roommate was not breathing. He was intoxicated and belligerent to deputies during his arrest, but complied with questioning and cooperated once behind bars. His jail stay, at that time, was short, regaining his freedom September 6.
“We had to release him because we had no cause of death,” Hernandez said. “He didn’t admit to any wrongdoing and at the time, we had no probable cause to hold him.”
Hernandez said that since his release, the investigation continued, despite delays from the Coroner’s office on determining a cause of death. Interviews were conducted with witnesses and people came forward with information about Earle and Barda’s relationship and background.
“What took the longest was the official autopsy report,” Hernandez said. “It was deferred for many, many months as they looked into the victim’s medical history and allegations of drug use because she had been in a rehab program.
“The Coroner finally determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation at the hands of another, which is a homicide. Once that occurred, we were able to put a case together and the district attorney said there was sufficient cause to charge him with murder.”
To read about Earle’s latest arrest.
Earle is scheduled to appear in San Fernando Superior Court tomorrow for arraignment.
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