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Former lead investigator of Pinyon Pines triple murder testifies

RIVERSIDE, Calif.- - Robert Pape & Cristin Smith are accused of killing a young woman, her mother and her mother’s boyfriend in Pinyon Pines 12 years ago. Today, RSO Investigator Gary LeClair, the former lead investigator in the case, testified. Jurors heard about many things, including items collected and examined.

 

 

Leclair recalled examining items, including the track of the wheelbarrow that authorities found Becky Friedli’s burned body in and shoe prints found leading from the home. The farthest the track went, according to placards, about 160 yards from where the wheelbarrow was found. Near the end of the track, investigators also found what they called “disturbed earth” and a business card Leclair says was linked to Smith.

 

 

When asked by Smith's attorney John Patrick Dolan about other items at the major crime scene, including parts of the wheelbarrow, gas cans, matches, and lighter fluid, the items had no trace evidence, DNA or fingerprints related to Smith.

 

 

Leclair also talked about interviewing Smith at his father’s home in Cathedral City shortly after the murders. Where he was told Pape and Smith were at a nearby AM/PM buying chapstick. However, investigators weren’t able to substantiate that claim and stated no surveillance video from the store was able to be viewed because it was no longer available.

 

 

If convicted, both Pape and Smith face life in prison without parole. The trial is expected to continue next Tuesday.

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