District Attorney withdraws death penalty in Pinyon homicides

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The death penalty will not be considered in the Pinyon triple murder cases.

Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin filed a notice that he would not seek the death penalty if defendant Robert Pape, 29, were found guilty.

In the Aug. 15 notice, Hestrin wrote “… after review of all facts and circumstances underlying the charges in [this] case and the defendant’s background, the People do not intend to seek capital punishment for defendant Robert Lars Pape.”

Hestrin did qualify that this notice was based on information known at this time. “If new information is made available, this decision may be reconsidered,” he added.

Co-defendant Christin Smith, 28, was a minor at the time of the crimes and the death penalty cannot be applied to him.

The next hearing is scheduled for November. Smith has several other motions pending before the court.

The murders of Jon Hayward, Vicki Friedli, and Vicki’s daughter, Becky, occurred on Sept. 17, 2006, in Pinyon Pines. Becky’s body was found burning in a wheelbarrow outside the house. The other bodies were found inside the burning home.

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