Pinyon Pines triple murder case

Two men accused in murders to appear in court

Indio - Hearings are scheduled for Friday for two men accused of a 2006 triple murder in Pinyon Pines.
Robert Lars Pape and Cristin Conrad Smith were arrested in March 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, 26, has an arraignment and bail hearing, and Smith, 25, has a trial-readiness conference and a hearing on a motion to dismiss his case. The dismissal motion, which was filed by Smith's attorney last month, contends there was no reasonable or probable cause to order Smith to stand trial, and takes issue with the prosecution's evidence and testimony given at his preliminary hearing.

A judge ruled after the March preliminary hearing that there was enough evidence for Smith, who has pleaded not guilty, to proceed to trial. Pape, an ex-boyfriend of Becky Friedli, 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.

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

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