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Pimping suspect pleads not guilty to trying to murder woman at Costa Mesa motel

Pimping suspect pleads not guilty to trying to murder woman at Costa Mesa motel
Eric Elijah Allen, 21, of Lake Elsinore pleaded not guilty to nine felony counts and one misdemeanor. (Courtesy of Orange County district attorney's office)

A Lake Elsinore man pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and kidnapping of a woman being pimped at a Costa Mesa motel, according to prosecutors and court documents.

Eric Elijah Allen, 21, entered the plea Friday in Orange County Superior Court on nine felony charges, including attempted murder with a sentencing enhancement allegation of premeditation, plus kidnapping, robbery, kidnapping to commit robbery, pimping and pandering. He also pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count of assault likely to produce great bodily injury, court documents said.

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The charges are related to allegations that Allen pimped two women at a Costa Mesa motel, according to Orange County Deputy District Attorney Juliet Oliver.

When one woman tried to leave Nov. 4, Allen “was refusing to let her leave and ultimately assaulted her in the hotel room, amounting to attempted murder,” Oliver said.

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Details described in a motion to increase Allen’s bail alleged he covered the woman’s head with a pillow and tied a cord around her neck.

The woman tried to flee and called police from the lobby, authorities said. Allen continued to assault her, prosecutors said, and Costa Mesa police intervened.

Prosecutors said Allen had pimped the woman for at least a week before the incident.

The other woman at the motel was identified as Allen’s girlfriend, whom he is accused of pimping since at least July, Oliver said.

Allen, who according to court documents was convicted of a violent felony in Riverside County in February 2016, was booked into the Theo Lacy jail in Orange. His bail was set at $1 million, prosecutors said. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

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