Pinyon Pines triple-murder case opens

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Opening statements were delivered in the trial for a 2006 triple homicide in the Pinyon Pines community of Riverside County. (KABC)

It's a murder case 12 years in the making.

Monday, opening statements were delivered in the triple homicide that happened in September 2006 in a Riverside County area known as Pinyon Pines.

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

The prosecution laid out its case including new DNA evidence and cellphone and cell tower records they say place the pair at the scene of the crime.

In 2011, investigators also identified an anonymous caller who will testify in the case about a conversation he had with Smith while they were co-workers.

Smith's defense attorney, John Patrick Dolan, says his client didn't commit the crime with Pape and that someone seen leaving the scene on the night of the murder is the real killer.

Dolan laid out his case and evidence he says will support his client's innocence, including DNA taken from the sock of Becky Friedli that ruled out Smith and Pape.

Dolan also says cell towers data was lost after the murders and cannot be used to support evidence his client was in the area at the time.

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 says 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.

The trial is expected to last six weeks.
Related Topics:
homicidemurderRiverside County
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