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Arraignment Postponed For Pinyon Pines Triple Murder Suspect


Friday, May 16th, 2014
Issue 20, Volume 18.


INDIO - Arraignment for the ex-boyfriend of a young woman killed in a 2006 triple murder in Pinyon Pines was postponed until June 13.

Robert Lars Pape was arrested in March, along with co-defendant Cristin Conrad Smith, and charged with the Sept. 17, 2006, killings of Vicki Friedli, 53, her boyfriend Jon Hayward, 55, and her 18-year-old daughter, Becky, at their Alpine Drive home.

The defendants face three counts of murder, with special circumstance allegations of committing multiple murders and two sentence-enhancing firearm- use allegations.

Riverside Superior Court Judge William Lebov rescheduled today's matters so they could be heard by the judge who presided at some of Pape's previous hearings, and because defense attorney Richard Blumenfeld said he couldn't proceed to arraignment without a list of items he hasn't received from the prosecution.

"They've had eight years to prepare their case, there is no legitimate reason we shouldn't have (those items)," Blumenfeld said.

Deputy District Attorney Scot Clark said he just finished another murder trial and can now work on the case full time.

"Mr. Clark says he's been in trial -- that's no excuse. My client is sitting in custody on an eight-year-old case," said Blumenfeld, who said he asked for the information a month ago.

Clark said he would get the information to Blumenfeld in a week.

Pape, an ex-boyfriend of Becky Friedli, could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted because he was an adult at the time of the killings. Smith -- 17 at the time of the slayings -- faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if found guilty.

A judge ruled in March that there was enough evidence for Smith, who has pleaded not guilty, to proceed to trial. Pape, who turned 26 today, was indicted by a grand jury, so a preliminary hearing was not required in his case.

Firefighters who responded to a blaze at the victims' home the night of Sept. 17, 2006, found Becky Friedli's burned body in a wheelbarrow about 70 feet from the house. After firefighters doused the blaze, they found the bodies of Hayward and Vicki Friedli inside the house. Both had been shot.

According to testimony and court documents, a cousin and friends of Becky Friedli told investigators that she mentioned plans to go hiking with Smith and Pape, her ex-boyfriend.

"Pape later told investigators that he and Smith decided not to go hiking with Becky and instead the two men were only with each other the night of the murders," Riverside County District Attorney's Office spokesman John Hall said.

Smith was found to be a possible contributor to DNA on a business card discovered near what investigators believed was the starting point of a trail left by the wheelbarrow containing Friedli's body, according to authorities.

FBI Special Agent Kevin Boles testified at Smith's preliminary hearing that cell phone records for Smith and Pape showed all calls made to the defendants between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. went to voicemail.

Shotguns, a handgun holster and shoes also were seized from the suspects' homes.

Smith, 25, also is due back in court June 13.

Hall said the District Attorney's Office first received the case for review a year ago, and it was decided that more investigation was needed. The Riverside Advertisement
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County Sheriff's Department brought the case back in December, and the D.A.'s office did follow-up investigating and opted to present the case to a grand jury. Pape was indicted in March, and a complaint was filed against Smith.

Both Pape and Smith are being held without bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.


PINYON PINES - Arraignment set for today for the ex-boyfriend of a young woman killed in a 2006 triple murder in Pinyon Pines was postponed until June 13. Robert Lars Pape was arrested in March, along with co-defendant Cristin Conrad Smith, and charged with the Sept. 17, 2006, killings of Vicki Friedli, 53, her boyfriend Jon Hayward, 55, and her 18-year-old daughter, Becky, at their Alpine Drive home.

The defendants face three counts of murder, with special circumstance allegations of committing multiple murders, and two sentence-enhancing firearm- use allegations. Pape, an ex-boyfriend of Becky Friedli, could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted because he was an adult at the time of the killings. Smith -- 17 at the time of the slayings -- faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if found guilty.

A judge ruled in March that there was enough evidence for Smith, who has pleaded not guilty, to proceed to trial. Pape, who turns 26 today, was indicted by a grand jury, so a preliminary hearing was not required in his case. Firefighters who responded to a blaze at the victims' home the night of Sept. 17, 2006, found Becky Friedli's burned body in a wheelbarrow about 70 feet from the house. After firefighters doused the blaze, they found the bodies of Hayward and Vicki Friedli inside the house. Both had been shot. According to testimony and court documents, a cousin and friends of Becky Friedli told investigators that she mentioned plans to go hiking with Smith and Pape, her ex-boyfriend.

"Pape later told investigators that he and Smith decided not to go hiking with Becky and instead the two men were only with each other the night of the murders," Riverside County District Attorney's Office spokesman John Hall said. Smith was found to be a possible contributor to DNA on a business card discovered near what investigators believed was the starting point of a trail left by the wheelbarrow containing Friedli's body, according to authorities. An FBI agent testified at Smith's preliminary hearing that cell phone records for Smith's and Pape showed calls were made to the defendants between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., but all of the calls went to voicemail. Shotguns, a handgun holster and shoes also were seized from the suspects' homes.

Smith, 25, is due back in court June 13. Hall said the District Attorney's Office first received the case for review a year ago, and it was decided that more investigation was needed. The Riverside County Sheriff's Department brought the case back in December, and the D.A.'s office did follow-up investigating and opted to present the case to a grand jury. Pape was indicted in March, and a complaint was filed against Smith. Both Pape and Smith are being held without bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.


 

3 comments

Comment Profile Imagej powell
Comment #1 | Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 3:40 pm
you forgot to mention that the judge at the prelimary hearings said that having their phones shut off ment nothing. Also grand jury transcripts tell that there was not a match to the vans shoes or shoeprints. Anyone can own a shotgun. May have been a contributer, so could 30 thousand other people. This whole case stinks
Comment Profile Imageinnocent
Comment #2 | Monday, Jun 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm
christen smith there is no evidence putting him at the crime scene nor in the area of pinyon pines. also he never said he was going hiking. Everything is hear say at this point never involved in drugs never had a relationship with this girl. his goal in life was always to serve his country which he did for 6 years was cleared of all involvement 8 years ago or there would have been no way he could of entered into the army. This is a huge cover up! The people that are involved are running around freee and new this family and was with her that very day. there is no phone records or alibis. never were they thoroughly interved because of parties involved.
Comment Profile Imageconcerned
Comment #3 | Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm
I understand the family of the deceased wants Justice. But I'm sure they don't want the wrong men accused and wrongly imprisoned. Cristin Smith is innocent. There is nothing but hear say being told by Javier Garcia... hear say by a "past" suspect that is asking for immunity to tell his lies. I believe Javier Garcia is the man that should be fully investigated. Javier and his cousin. But no...Javier has a mommy in in government and a daddy in the DA's office.... whom are using their powers and friendships to cover up Javier's and his cousin's guilt. What is enough evident? The shoe print didn't match any of Cristin's shoes removed by the police 7 years ago, along with guns taken, that didn't pass ballistics as the murder weapon, and a business card provided by a suspect , Javier Garcia, saying he "found" it at the home. This is a shame of biblical proportions. Cristin is a highly decorated Army Ranger. He is now sitting in jail for something he did not commit.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.

 

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