Mitchell Grant Grote, 27, appears in court
A man accused of stabbing a possibly homeless man in the neck on Sunday pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony charges of attempted murder and assault with personal use of a deadly weapon.
The defendant, Mitchell Grant Grote, 27, appeared in Superior Court Tuesday for his arraignment. The case was continued until Feb. 7 to set a date for his preliminary hearing.
Prosecutors charged in their complaint that Mr. Grote “did unlawfully and with malice aforethought attempt to murder a human being.” They identified the injured man only as W. Vankoppen.
They charged the defendant’s alleged offenses were serious and violent felonies, and that his actions were “willful, deliberate and premeditated.”
The charges carry with them special allegations of use of a deadly weapon, a knife, and causing great bodily injury.
Prosecutors also listed aggravating factors, including that Mr. Grote’s alleged actions disclosed a “high degree of cruelty, viciousness or callousness.”
Santa Barbara police arrested Mr. Grote Sunday on suspicion of attempted homicide after responding earlier in the day to calls reporting an injured and bleeding man near Anacapa and De La Guerra streets.
They located the victim, W. Vankoppen, who they described as a middle-aged man believed to be homeless. The victim was suffering from a stab wound to the neck and was quickly transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital by medics.
Patrol officers began their investigation, and detectives were called in to assist. Officers from the Community Action Team were able to assist and advance the investigation rapidly due to their relationships with people in the Santa Barbara community who are suffering from homelessness.
With information provided by community members, C.A.T Officers identified Mr. Grote as a suspect, and probable cause was developed to make an arrest, police said.
He was found later on Milpas Street and arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide.
He was booked at the Santa Barbara County Main Jail in Santa Barbara with a bail of $1 million.