Oscar Luis Morlett III, the man accused of using an axe-like weapon to kill his stepmother in Lake Forest over the summer, has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Morlett, 21, made his plea on Thursday in Orange County Men's Central Jail Complex.
Although not confirmed by authorities, Patch has learned Morlett may have used a pick-axe in the alleged attack on Jeanne Ellen Morlett, 66, at her Blazewood residence on August 9.
Morlett is charged by the Orange County District Attorney's office with one count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a dangerous or deadly weapon.
His next scheduled court date is a pre-trial hearing slated for Nov. 1 in Orange County Superior Court's Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.
No motive has yet been revealed by authorities. Orange County Sheriff's deputies responded to a disturbance call and discovered Jeanne Morlett at her Foothill Ranch residence. Her stepson was found later that day about two miles from the home, which is located near the Alton and Portola intersection.
If convicted, Morlett faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison.
On the day in which Morlett was charged with murder, Aug. 12, he was scheduled to be in court on misdemeanor charges of carrying a dirk or dagger, possession of a deadly weapon, a leaded cane, and having a passenger under 21 in possession of alcohol in a vehicle, according to court records.