A Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge ordered Slava Olsen, 20, to stand trial on three felony charges stemming from the March 2 death of Santa Barbara City College student Bradley Jones, 19.
Olsen has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault with intent to create bodily injury and battery. At a preliminary hearing March 24, Judge Joseph Lodge decided there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial, the arraignment for which is scheduled to take place on April 13.
Following an investigation, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies arrested Olsen three days after Jones was assaulted early on the morning of Feb. 29 in Isla Vista. According to police reports, Jones and a small group of friends were walking west on the 6600 block of Sabado Tarde Road when they encountered another group of about 20 people. Witnesses told the police that members of the larger group called several women traveling with Jones “sluts.”
Shortly after a member of Jones’ group told the other men not to call his friends that name, police said Olsen and another unidentified man broke away from the main group and followed Jones. When the two men caught up with him, they asked him what he had said. Witnesses told police that after Jones told the men he had said nothing, Olsen punched Jones in the face – knocking him backward onto the asphalt.
Friends took Jones, who suffered head injuries, to the hospital where he stopped breathing, entered a coma and died after several days.
Joshua Lynn, the Santa Barbara County deputy district attorney assigned to the case, said Olsen’s prosecution would be based on testimony from witnesses who saw Olsen punch Jones, including first-hand accounts from friends of both men.
Rory Moore, Olsen’s public defender, could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.