tushar atre

The Santa Cruz County, California, Sheriff’s Department released the names and mugshots of four men suspected of killing Indian American tech entrepreneur Tushar Atre last fall. The suspects (from left to right, top to bottom) are: Kaleb Charters, Stephen Lindsay, Kurtis Charters, and Joshua Camps. All four have been charged with first degree murder, kidnapping, and robbery. (Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office photos)

Two of the four defendants charged with the Oct. 1, 2019 murder and kidnapping of Tushar Atre at his Pleasant Point, Calif., home appeared in court July 24 for arraignment.

Kurtis Charters, 22, and Stephan Lindsay, 22, pleaded not guilty to murder, robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, burglary, amid a number of other charges. Their co-conspirators, Kaleb Charters, 19, and Joshua Camps, 24, who have also been charged with first degree murder, robbery, and kidnapping, are scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 14.

All four defendants are currently being held in Santa Cruz County, Calif., without bail. All were arrested May 19 and are all expected back in court on Aug. 14.

Atre, 50, founder and CEO of AtreNet and co-founder of Interstitial Systems — a licensed cannabis dispensary and delivery service — was kidnapped from his beachfront home early morning Oct. 1 and found dead later that morning about 10 miles away. An autopsy revealed that Atre had died from a single gunshot wound.

The Santa Cruz County Sentinel reported that no members of Atre’s family, who live on the East Coast, attended the arraignment. But numerous friends of Atre’s were in the courtroom.

Kaleb Charters and Lindsay had worked for Atre at his cannabis dispensary for about two weeks at the time of the murder, Ashley Keehn, a spokeswoman for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department, told India-West in May.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Lt. Brian Cleveland at a press conference May 21 said the motivation for the murder was monetary gain. Police have not released what items or what amount of money was stolen from Atre’s residence. 

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