Defendant pleads not guilty in slaying of SF State student

The suspect in the killing of an SF State student pleaded not guilty to all counts this morning at the San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City.

Frederick Tran is on trial for the slaying of Ariana Hatami, his girlfriend, on the night of Dec. 17, 2016. Tran had just been released from jail after a probation violation when he asked Hatami if he could stay at her apartment for a single night.

While Hatami was asleep, Tran allegedly got out of the bed they were sharing, picked up a bottle and struck her in the head repeatedly with it, according to the on-call detective Brandon Scholes. Two other residents of the apartment restrained Tran and called the police. Hatami died of her wounds in San Francisco General Hospital soon after.

During the brief arraignment, Tran’s attorney, Alex Bernstein requested “that a reasonable bail be set.”

Joseph Goethals, for the San Mateo County District Attorney’s office, however, asked for bail to be set at $25 million on the grounds that “the defendant committed this horrible, heinous act less than 24 hours after being released from jail.” Judge Donald J. Ayoob set bail at $5 million.

Ayoob, before declaring the date of the next hearing, asked Tran, “do you wish to give (the right to a speedy trial) up to give your attorney additional time to prepare a defense?”

“I do,” Tran replied — his only words during the arraignment.

The People of the State of California v. Frederick Tran will continue on July 6, at 8:45 a.m. at the San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City.