Defendants, Robert Pape, 30, and Cristin Smith, 29, have been found guilty of murder. After 10 days of deliberations, the jury returned guilty verdicts for both men nearly a dozen years after the crimes.
The jury found both guilty of the first-degree murder in the deaths of Jon Hayward and Vicki Friedli. Pape alone was found guility of the second degree murder of Becky Friedli, Vicki’s daughter.
Pape and Smith are scheduled to return before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz to be sentenced on Aug. 10,. Pape and Smith each face life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to the news released from the District Attorney’s office.
“Justice in this case, in particular for the family and friends of Jon Hayward, Vicki Friedli, and Vicki’s daughter Becky, has been a long time coming,” District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in the release. “It is clear that jurors were meticulous in their examination of the evidence in this complicated multiple defendant case and we are pleased with their verdicts. We hope the verdicts help in the healing process to those who knew the victims and to the Coachella Valley community as a whole.”
The murders occurred on Sept. 17, 2006 in Piñyon Pines. Becky’s body was found burning in a wheelbarrow outside the house. The other bodies were found inside the burning home. An affidavit from the District Attorney’s Office stated that Haywood died from a 12 gauge shotgun wound to the chest. Vicki’s death was caused from a wound to the head, possibly from a Glock handgun. Pape was Becky’s former boy friend.
In June 2016, Hestrin announced that both Pape and Smith had been arrested again and charged with three counts of murder, with a special circumstance allegation of committing multiple murders. This action came after an extensive review of the case and new evidence, including testimony from a confidential informant.