Provisional court date set for murder trial after death of former Welwyn Garden City councillor
- Credit: Archant
A provisional court date has been set for a murder trial following the death of a former borough councillor from Welwyn Garden City.
Marietta Louise Lotz, who represented Peartree ward from 2008 to 2011, was found collapsed in the street in Fordwich Road just before 8pm on Saturday, having suffered serious head injuries.
Paramedics attended and the 64-year-old received medical treatment, but died shortly after.
Debby Foxwell, of Fordwich Road, was arrested and charged with murder and aggravated burglary on Sunday following the death.
Ms Foxwell appeared at Luton Crown Court today - via video link from Peterborough prison - when she was remanded in custody ahead of a court date for her plea which has been set for October 4.
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If the 40-year-old pleads not guilty, a trial is likely to take place from February 3 next year.
Ms Foxwell was arrested on Sunday with a 36-year-old man from Welwyn Garden City on suspicion of murder, but the man has since been released with no furher action.
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Det Chief Insp Jerome Kent said, from the Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire Major Crime Unit, is leading the investigation.
He said: "Our thoughts remain with Louise's family and friends at what is a very upsetting time for them and we ask that their privacy is respected.
"I understand that news of this incident will be unsettling to the wider community, but I would like to confirm that we are treating it as an isolated offence and we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation.
"I also ask residents to refrain from speculating about the circumstances on social media, as this will not only cause distress to the victim's family but could also impact the investigation and associated justice process.
"Lastly, I would like to thank those people who have already assisted us with our enquiries but if you believe you have information that could assist our investigation and have not yet spoken with us, then please get in touch as soon as possible."
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council leader Tony Kingsbury also expressed shock at hearing the news.
"Our sincere condolences go out to her family and friends at this difficult time," Cllr Kingsbury said speaking on behalf of the council.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Herts police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting Operation Paragone.