One jury found Chris Duve, 31, not guilty of the 2006 murder of Paul Cline, then 60 and a resident of Old Cary Road in Anza. One day later, a second, separate jury, found Angela Shaver, 46, of Meadowbrook guilty of Cline’s murder in the first degree with enhanced circumstances.
Shaver’s formal sentencing, 26 years to life, is scheduled for Aug. 17.
Investigators from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Hemet Station initially responded to reports of a theft at the Cline residence. They served a search warrant at the residence on evening of March 21, 2006.
During a search, evidence supported the search warrant for theft and indicated Cline had been the victim of murder. Cline’s body was found during a night-long homicide team investigation of his home and a nearby hillside north of Bautista Road in Anza.
According to the Central Homicide Unit, Duve and Shaver were “friends or acquaintances” of Cline.
During the trial, Duve’s lawyer, Stephen Sweigart, argued that Duve was a pawn in Cline’s murder, masterminded by Shaver and Vincent “Wolf’ Valdez, who was the first to stab Cline.
Duve admitted that he stabbed Cline once, but said it was after Cline was already dead from multiple knife wounds, which Shaver and Valdez inflicted. Valdez has not been charged with the crime, but was identified in court records and proceedings.
Duve’s jury only needed hours to return the not guilty verdict.
While Sweigart said he hadn’t had an opportunity to speak to any jurors after the verdict, he felt they must have agreed with his argument that Duve stabbed Cline under duress and after he was already dead.
“My guy never wanted to be part of the plan,” Sweigart said. “He was told to do it or get killed. It was after Cline was dead.”
In response to the jury’s verdict, Sweigart said all he felt was relief. During a murder trial, all the attorney confronts is stress, he added.
Duve’s six years of incarceration before trial were partially due to the unfortunate events involving Shaver’s defense team. During the trial preparation, two of her defense attorneys died while working the case before it was ready for trial. This caused several delays while replacement attorneys prepared for a murder trial.
While Sweigart said it was a big case and he needed considerable preparation, he said the prosecutor was not at fault for the delays. “Last fall, on the Thursday before the Monday when the trial was to begin, her [Shaver’s] lawyer died in a motorcycle accident,” Sweigart said.