June 16 – A Lompoc woman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Tuesday in the murder of her neighbor in June 2019.
Melissa Martin, 37, filed her petition before Superior Court Judge Montes de Oca, who is expected to sentence her to 15 years in prison, according to District Attorney Anne Nudson.
Additionally, Martin was charged with increasing the sentence for personal use of a deadly or dangerous weapon. Martin was charged on June 12, 2019 and pleaded not guilty on September 17, 2019.
Martin was accused of killing Eldri Jauch, his 74-year-old neighbor, who was reported missing by Jauch’s sister on June 6, 2019.
A tip led Lompoc police to the 300 block of North N Street, where they located Jauch’s body inside Martin’s residence on June 9th.
Following another lead, detectives located Martin on the night of June 10 at a residence on the 800 block of North Refugio Road in Santa Ynez, where they arrested her with a warrant from Ramey, according to Lompoc Police.
Authorities believe Martin killed Jauch with a baseball bat on June 5 under the influence of drugs, according to Nudson.
Before her death, Jauch was described as an avid outdoors woman who played the violin and was an advocate for the LGBTQ community in Lompoc.
She was completing an advocates training program at the North County County Child Protection and Crisis Center in Lompoc when she died, according to Executive Director Ann McCarty.
Martin is scheduled for a sentencing hearing at 8:30 am on Aug. 31 at the Superior Court in Lompoc.