Paso murder scene was home to marijuana grow



SLO County Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed that the Paso Robles-area ranch that was the site of a murder and police shootout was used to cultivate marijuana.

In an email response to questions from New Times, Sheriff’s spokesperson Tony Cipolla said that more than 104 pounds of dry processed bud and 43 pounds of dried, manicured marijuana used to make hash or oils was recovered from the property where owner and self-professed clairvoyant Nicole Honait Luxor, 61, allegedly shot and killed 34-year-old Benjamin Darrel Terra Nov. 14.

Luxor was arrested after a lengthy standoff with law enforcement, where she allegedly opened fire on officers multiple times before surrendering.

Cipolla said the marijuana recovered from the scene was cultivated on the property, located in the 4200 block of Old Nacimiento Road in rural Paso Robles. Luxor appeared to run the property as a retreat and bed-and breakfast, calling it the Dancing Horse Retreat on her website. The website states the property sits on a total of 41 acres of land. 

The initial investigation indicated that the marijuana grow on the property was supposed to have been a legal medical marijuana cultivation operation, according to Cipolla.

“It was initially set up to be a legal grow,” Cipolla wrote. “But based on our investigation, it appeared to violate medical marijuana guidelines.” 

According to Cipolla, Terra was on the property “primarily for the purpose of cultivating and harvesting marijuana for sale.” 

The news that an alleged medical marijuana grow was a part of a homicide case comes at a time when some cities in the county are considering bans on cultivation.

Luxor is charged with one count of felony murder, and multiple counts of attempted murder. She remains in custody in SLO County jail on $1 million bond. Her next court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 14.

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