LANCASTER – A 30-year-old Lancaster man pleaded not guilty Friday to murdering a woman sent to his home to repair a refrigerator.
William Franklin Hughes III is charged in the July 14 strangulation of 36-year-old Lyndi Fisher of Lancaster, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Hughes allegedly killed Fisher after she arrived at his home to repair his refrigerator, said Deputy District Attorney Ryan Williams.
A month earlier, Fisher had repaired an appliance at Hughes’ home, the prosecutor said.
Hughes told Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies that Fisher had been injured while fixing an appliance at his home in the 43200 block of Doverwood Court, according to the sheriff’s department.
Hughes allegedly told deputies that he had briefly left his home and that he saw Fisher unresponsive on the floor when he returned.
Hughes was arrested the following day.
He was charged July 18 with one count of willful, deliberate and premeditated murder, according to the District Attorney’s Office. The felony complaint also includes an allegation that Hughes was convicted of making criminal threats in 2013.
The threats were against his father, and Hughes also was convicted of assault in that case, the Los Angeles Times reported. Hughes has a history of mental illness, according to the Times’ news report. [Read it here.]
Hughes is due back in an Antelope Valley courtroom Sept. 7 for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
He remains jailed in lieu of $2.5 million bail.
Hughes faces a possible maximum sentence of 55 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department..
Previous related story: Woman found dead in Lancaster home
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story was updated to include additional details.