Moore trial: Who moved the truck still a vital question
Twenty-year-old Jesus Ayala testified last week that when he was growing up as a country boy on the farm, his father, Roberto Ayala, would let him drive his truck before he was 16 and before he had a driver's license.
The testimony may help jurors believe that his younger brother, Fabian Ayala, is responsible for moving their father's truck after he witnessed the bomb explosion that killed Roberto Ayala in a Colusa ricefield on July 16, 2011. Fabian was 7 at the time of the incident.
During defense attorney Linda Parisi's opening statement in the Sacramento courtroom on Aug. 8, she said Roberto Ayala's truck at the site of the bomb explosion had been moved about 11 feet between when the explosion occurred and when officers arrived at the scene.
Parisi said she will argue that "only one person could move the truck, and that's the same man that planted the bomb — Peter." She is building a case that Peter Moore, the defendant's cousin, is responsible for the murder as opposed to Paul Moore.
Paul Moore's father has testified he and Paul were together eating lunch at the time of the event.
Outside the courtroom, District Attorney John Poyner said that it makes sense that Fabian would move the truck to try to help his dad.
"Why would Peter move the truck? That doesn't make sense," Poyner said.
The prosecutor added: "What Parisi doesn't get is this is not a detonated bomb. This is a victim-activated bomb. There isn't somebody hiding in the bushes. The person who planted the bomb could have been out to lunch with his father."
David Wilkins, who was a deputy sheriff for Colusa County at the time of the incident, confirmed in testimony that glass appeared to be about 11 feet from the center of the window to the center of the broken glass and that if the truck had not been moved, the glass "would have been right outside the door."
Police reports from the day of the incident reflected Fabian's statement that he had not moved the truck.
On the witness stand, in response to a question by Poyner, Fabian said he did move the truck before he ran to two miles to find help.
But, in response to cross-examination by Parisi, Fabian said he didn't move the truck.
She said, "You were only 7. You didn't know how to move a truck."
"Yes," Fabian said.