INDIO, Calif. - The ex-boyfriend of a young woman killed in a 2006 triple murder in Pinyon Pines appeared in court Wednesday morning, but his arraignment was
rescheduled to May 16.
Robert Lars Pape was arrested last month, 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, both 25, 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 faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if found guilty. He was 17 at the time of the murders.
A judge ruled last month that there was enough evidence for Smith to
proceed to trial. Pape 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 found Becky Friedli's 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 the Riverside County District Attorney's office.
A cousin and friends of Becky Friedli told investigators that she mentioned plans to go hiking with Smith and Pape.
``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,'' District Attorney's spokesman John Hall said.
Smith also told an investigator that the three had talked about going
hiking. After work on Sept. 17, he and Pape decided not to hike with Becky
Friedli and watched television and played video games at Smith's house. He said they took a nap, then decided to play paintball at a local school.
Afterward, according to his account, they stopped at an am/pm for gas, then Pape went to a cousin's house and Smith went to see his girlfriend in Palm Springs.
DNA matched to Smith was found on a business card discovered near what
investigators believed was the starting point of a trail left by the wheelbarrow containing Friedli's body. Smith told authorities he'd never been to the Friedli home.
FBI Special Agent Kevin Boles testified at Smith's preliminary hearing that Smith's and Pape's cell phone records showed calls on their phones between roughly 7 and 10 p.m. all went to voicemail and didn't register to a cell tower.
Law enforcement officers also testified that shotguns, a handgun holster
and shoes were seized from the suspects' homes.
According to a grand jury affidavit, Pape and Becky Friedli dated for 15
months before they broke up in January 2006. She reportedly told a friend
three weeks before she was killed that Pape had told her ``that if he couldn't have her, nobody could.''
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 December, and the D.A.'s office did follow-up investigating and opted to present the case to a grand jury.
Both Smith and Pape are being held without bail at the Robert Presley
Detention Center in Riverside.
News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 will continue to provide updates as court proceedings move forward.
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