Closing arguments heard in Pinyon Pines 2006 murder case

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- A tragic set of horrible circumstances brought jurors to a Riverside County courtroom to hear the grim details of a 12-year-old murder case.

For six weeks, prosecutors laid out what they believe happened on Sept. 16, 2006 in an area known as Pinyon Pines. The defense also presented its case pointing to holes in the mostly circumstantial evidence case.

Friends, Robert Pape and Cristin Smith stand accused of murder with special circumstances in the deaths of Becky Friedli, her mother Vicky Friedli and her mother's boyfriend, Jon Hayward.

Pape and Becky Friedli dated in high school but broke-up, which the prosecution said Pape didn't take well.

The prosecution walked jurors through its case pointing to DNA, finger print and cellphone tower records along with a business card that they said put the two friends at the crime scene.

But the defense said evidence in the case is missing and that investigators missed opportunities to clear his client. Jurors again listened to a 50 minute interview between a then 17-year-old Smith and investigators, which the defense said is proof of his innocence.

Pape's attorney is expected to deliver closing arguments next. The jury could begin deliberating as soon as Wednesday.

The triple homicide was deemed a cold case for several years. In 2014, Pape and Smith were charged but those charges were dropped.

The Riverside County district attorney said he decided to review the case when he took office and found new evidence had been uncovered since the time the case had been dropped. Pape and Smith were arrested in June 2016.
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