Battle over bail, release of suspect in killing of Kim K lookalike
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - The woman accused of killing a social media influencer and Kim Kardashian lookalike after a botched cosmetic procedure, was back in a San Mateo County courtroom on Wednesday.
Vivian Gomez, 50, of Ft. Lauderdale is facing felony charges, including involuntary manslaughter and practicing without a license stemming from the death of Christina "Ashten" Gourkani, a model who many said looked just like Kim Kardashian, prosecutors said.
Gomez said little in the courtroom as some of the victim's family watched the litigation process move forward.
Prosecutors asked Judge Amarra Lee to schedule a hearing to examine the source of Gomez’s income if she posts bail.
"That’s a motion that’s brought when the people suspect that the funds might be feloniously obtained. So it’s a way for the people to ensure that whatever bail is put up is not coming from feloniously obtained funds," said San Mateo County Assistant District Attorney Shin-Mee Chang.
Gomez, a Florida-based cosmetologist, is accused of administering a fatal buttocks-enhancing injection to Gourkani on April 19.
Gourkani met Gomez at a hotel in Burlingame where she received the injection and complications soon developed.
Gomez is not licensed to perform such injections in California. She flew back to her native Florida after the procedure, but Gourkani’s condition worsened. Gourkani’ died the next day at a Peninsula area hospital.
"She’s very sensitive, apparently. I only met her for the first time the other day. She cries a lot. Has no prior criminal history so that makes sense. And this would be difficult for anybody," said lead defense attorney Geoff Carr.
Prosecutors argued that since Gomez was arrested and extradited back to San Mateo County, she is a flight risk.
"There’s always a generalized concern when you’re talking about felonious conduct. Generalized concerns about flight and potential harm to other victims," said Chang.
Gomez’s current bail of $200,000 contains an enhancement because she is considered a flight risk.
But defense attorneys said Gomez didn’t run and hide and has cooperated with the investigation into Gourkani’s death. They said any potential bail money isn't tainted.
"My client’s son will be testifying about the source of the money he’ll be putting up for bail," said Carr. "No, the source is not from his mother. It’s as simple as that. It’s a payroll advance by his employer."
Carr said Gomez qualifies for supervised release. If that is ultimately denied and a new bail assigned, he plans to seek a bail reduction to the court-scheduled amount of $50,000.
The bail hearing is set for May 30.
Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station's South Bay bureau. Follow him on Twitter, @JesseKTVU and Instagram, @jessegontv.