Steven Rothschild appeared in court on Sept. 29 and pleaded “not guilty” to the felony charge of murdering his wife Juanita Rothschild, 67.
Accompanied by his lawyer, Santa Rosa criminal defense attorney Stephen Gallenson, Rothschild appeared briefly before Judge Dana Beernick Simonds in Sonoma County Superior Court last Friday to enter the plea.
Released on $2 million bail on Sept. 5, Rothschild, 72, returned to his quiet Springs neighborhood.
The Rothschilds’ updated two-bedroom home, which they purchased in 2013, is currently listed for sale at $575,000, with a pending offer. According to a source familiar with the situation, Steven Rothschild may continue to live in the house after the sale.
At Rothschild’s court appearance on Sept. 29, two new restrictions were placed on his activities while out on bail: He has been prohibited from attending his late wife’s upcoming memorial service and he was told that he may not leave the state of California.
Rothschild’s next court date is 9 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 3. At that time, the court is expected to set a date for a preliminary hearing, at which time the prosecution will lay out its case to show probable cause for the charges, in hopes of convincing the judge that a trial is in fact merited.
Javier Vaca of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office has been assigned to prosecute the case.
The charges against Rothschild stem from events late on Friday, Aug. 4.
According to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 11:40 p.m., Rothschild called 911 requesting a deputy to his home. He told the dispatcher that he and his wife had been in a fight and she was dead. Upon arrival, deputies found Juanita Rothschild unresponsive on the living room couch. According to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office released the next day, she appeared to be seriously beaten but no obvious weapons were found. Attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.
Juanita Rothschild’s autopsy took place on Tuesday, Aug. 8. Results are not yet available, .
Her memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m. in the Remembrance Room at the Fernwood Funeral Home at 301 Tennessee Valley Road in Mill Valley. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Family Justice Center of Sonoma County, to Pets Lifeline or to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Contact Lorna at firstname.lastname@example.org.