A Sonoma County judge ruled Monday there is enough evidence to proceed to trial for one of six men accused of killing a trial witness near Jenner.
However, Judge Ken Gnoss said it was not proven that Quentin Russell, 26, of Santa Rosa, knew that the victim, Vutha Au, 24, was to testify in a kidnapping, robbery and extortion trial and said he could not be held to answer for that special circumstance.
Still, Russell can be charged with murder and other allegations that could lead to the death penalty or life in prison if convicted.
Russell is expected to be arraigned on Nov. 5, at which time a trial date could be set.
He is the first of the defendants to be bound over for trial following a preliminary hearing that spanned 10 weeks. A ruling is expected Dec. 4 for Preston Khaoone, 23, Tyrone Tay, 27, Boonlack Chanpheng, 27, and brothers David, 20, and Sarith Prak, 22.
Deputy District Attorney Traci Carrillo said Russell is believed to be the shooter.