Suspects charged with murder in Pinyon Pines case

Robert Pape could face death penalty

Suspects charged with murder

INDIO, Calif. - Two men accused in the Pinyon Pines triple murder case appeared in a Riverside courtroom Wednesday morning.  KESQ & CBS Local 2 were the only television outlets in the courtroom, where just before 10:30 a.m., a Grand Jury indictment was unsealed.

Robert Pape and Cristin Smith have been charged with three counts of murder for the deaths of 18-year old Rebecca Friedli, her mother Vickie Friedli, 53, and her mother's boyfriend, 55-year-old Jon Hayward. The three victims were killed in their Pinyon Pines home in September, 2006.

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Due to Smith only being 17 at the time of the murders, his name was officially stricken from the Grand Jury indictment, but he was still charged with murder by the District Attorney's office.

Pape, who was 18 at the time of the murders, could now face the death penalty because of an added enhancement charge of committing multiple murders, and also some additional weapons charges.

Smith plead not guilty because he had an attorney present at Wednesday's hearing.  Pape was represented by a public defender and did not enter a plea, he is seeking private representation.  

Both men were arrested Tuesday; Smith at the Palm Springs Airport, Pape at a home in Salton City. 

They're currently being held without bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.

Their next court appearance is scheduled for March, 18, at the Larson Justice Center in Indio. Pape will officially be arraigned and Smith will appear for a felony settlement hearing.


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