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California woman charged in connection with murder of millionaire

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A 22-year-old woman has been charged in connection with the high profile death of a 66-year-old millionaire who was tied up and then killed at his sprawling villa in Monte Sereno, Calif., last month.

The woman, Ravel Chanel Dixon, was arrested Tuesday for a separate crime – offering sex, drugs or money to an undercover cop. On Friday, Dixon, of Alameda County, Calif., was charged with “accessory after the fact” in the Nov. 30 killings of Raveesh Kumra, an investor who owned Western Cellular Management. Kumra is best known for owning Mountain Winery in the 1990s.  

Police released a statement Friday saying they do not believe the homicide was a random act of violence.

Read the original report at NBC Bay Area

Dixon’s charges carry a gang-enhancement, although prosecutors did not elaborate on what that meant. Her bail was set at $1 million at Friday’s court hearing.

Her mother, Sandra Mitchell, said outside court that her daughter, a single parent and college student, is scared. Mitchell called the charges "very troublesome."

John Ambrosio, Dixon's attorney, added: "We don't know how they came up with these serious charges. It's an out-of-the-blue charge. They just want someone to charge that homicide to."

Dixon did not enter a plea and was told to return to court on Jan. 14.

Kumra's ex-wife, Harinder "Rani" Kumra, was also home and tied up during the attack. She has declined interview requests. The couple had divorced but remained cordial, according to a previous family statement.

Rani Kumra told police she believed perhaps three or four people had entered her family's massive home on Withey Road. She said she and her husband were bound at about 1:30 a.m.

Police have not explained how her husband was killed. Kumra was Mountain View’s first homicide victim in 40 years.

Also unclear is who killed Kumra. Dixon is not being charged with murdering him, and a sketch of a possible suspect in the case was released by Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police shortly after the homicide.

The sketch shows a skinny Latino or white man in his early 20s who stands about six feet and who has black hair.

The release added that department is "aware of the concern and anxiety this crime has caused the community and wishes to provide a limited update of the case."

Kumra's family issued previous statement through email, in which his brother, Bharat Kumra, described his brother as a man who "worked very hard and invested successfully over the years." He stated that his brother's wealth has been "overstated and inaccurate." Kumra had once owned the Mountain Winery in the 1990s and had invested in Tesla Capital.

"While he experienced success during his life, at the time of Ravi's passing he was weathering financial hardship," Bharat Kumra wrote. "He was a generous man and went out of his way to help anyone he met, even when he had little."
Kumra had a minor criminal past in Santa Clara County - he was charged with several misdemeanors and one felony in the 1990s, court records indicate. He was arrested in connection with a felony drunk-driving incident in 1995. In 1998, he was charged with assaulting a security guard at the Mountain Winery and making a threatening phone call to the then-executive director of the Villa Montalvo, an arts foundation.

Kumra was born in Kartharpur, India and immigrated to the U.S. in 1970 after earning a degree in chemical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, according to his obituary. He eventually settled in the Bay Area. His family said he was one of the first Indian-born entrepreneurs in the wireless industry.

NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo contributed to this report.