Pinyon homicide arraignments postponed again

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Twice, arraignments for Robert Pape, 28, and Cristin Smith, 27, have been re-scheduled. The latest arraignment was for June 21 and a new time for the arraignment is now Tuesday, July 5.

Both men have been arrested for the 2006 triple murders of Jon Hayward, Vicki Friedli and Vicki’s daughter, Becky Friedli, that occurred in Pinyon Pines. They had been arrested for the triple murder in March 2014, but nearly seven months later the District Attorney’s Office dismissed all the charges against Pape and Smith.

In obtaining a warrant for their re-arrests, new information was revealed. One of the major items was the retesting of DNA found at the scene, which matches Smith’s. According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the chances of the DNA being misidentified is 1 in 28 trillion chances.

“Smith denied ever being present or near the scene of the murders,” said Lester Harvey, an investigator with the Sheriff’s Department, in a statement seeking a warrant to arrest both men.

In addition, a better forensic analysis of cell-tower data places Smith and Pape together on Monterey Avenue, which becomes Highway 74 to Pinyon Pines, before the murders. This contradicts their earlier statement that they had never left the Cathedral City area.

And a confidential informant has been identified who alleges Smith admitted to being involved in the arson and saying “Something went wrong and we torched the whole ---ing place.”

On the night of Sept. 17, 2006, Becky, 18, her mother Vicki, 53, and Vicki’s boyfriend Hayward, 55, were found dead at their Pinyon home. Becky’s body was found burning in a wheelbarrow outside the house. The other bodies were found inside the burning home.

Pape was Becky’s former boyfriend.

Both Pape and Smith are in custody without bail.

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