The 43-year-old man accused of strangling to death Carlsbad resident Kathleen Scharbarth plead not guilty Wednesday in court to charges that may lead him to death row if convicted.
According to a 10News report, Michael David Robles, who at one time dated Scharbarth, offered the not guilty plea during the arraignment.
The prosecution alleges that Robles continued to stalk Scharbarth, 34, right up until the time of her death. The victim had obtained a temporary restraining order against the suspect just a week prior to her death.
Scharbarth, who was the mother of a 13-year-old girl, was discovered missing on Thanksgiving Day when her present boyfriend showed up to take her to breakfast. Upon his arrival, he found the front door of her residence open and the teenage daughter asleep upstairs.
Prosecutors believe that Robles snuck into Scharbarth’s residence late Wednesday evening, strangled her, then took her body to a remote area of San Diego County and buried her in a shallow grave. Authorities discovered her body on the same day that they arrested Robles. According to a neighbor, the suspect was spotted near the victim’s residence earlier in the evening and chased off, only to return later.
According to authorities, Robles proceeded to go to Thanksgiving Dinner with friends last Thursday following his alleged involvement in Scharbarth’s death. It was also reported that Robles had a plane ticket to Mexico that was to be used last Saturday, the day after he was taken into custody.
Given the circumstances of allegedly lying in wait for the victim, Robles, who was denied bail, could receive the death penalty if convicted.
A readiness conference will be held Jan. 18, 2012 with a preliminary hearing slated for Feb. 6.
While innocent until proven guilty, if authorities have the right man, here’s hoping that the death penalty is in play at the time of sentencing. Authorities have not publically said whether or not Robles led them to the victim’s body in exchange for a plea deal.
As I mentioned in a previous article, the temporary restraining order that Scharbarth had was a wasted piece of paper. Individuals such as Robles, if he is the guilty party here, will not let a document stop them from what they ultimately want, the final say.
It is high time for the courts to impose electronic monitoring along with restraining orders when there is documented evidence of harassment and/or physical abuse.
For the family and friends of Kathleen Scharbarth, a caring mother, daughter and sister, their loved one was allegedly taken at the hands of an individual who has changed many lives forever.