Prosecution focuses on accused's technical capabilities in Moore Farm bombing trial
In August 2011, the Colusa County Sheriff's Department received two letters labeled, with a label maker, as "Ayala Case" and claiming to be from a gang hitman responsible for the bombing. The second letter contained a diagram of a bomb that appears to match the layout of the device that killed Roberto Ayala in July 2011.
Four months after the bomb exploded, killing Ayala, a search of Paul Moore's home recovered a piece of paper with an indentation of the bomb diagram — as if it were stacked under another sheet of paper on which the diagram was drawn — a printer and a Brother brand label maker.
Prosecutors brought in expert witnesses, including forensics specialists from the U.S. Secret Service, to tie Moore to those letters.
• A fingerprint specialist with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives testified that fingerprints found on the indented diagram "were identified to Paul Moore," specialist Tanya Kapila said.
• A document examiner with the U.S. Secret Service testified that based on his expert analysis, in his findings comparing the ink on the letters to example pages printed from Moore's printer, the "exhibits matched the exemplars."
Additionally, through "a physical, optical and chemical analysis ... I could not tell apart the bomb diagram from letter No. 2 and the indented paper," Joseph Stephens said.
• Amy Michaud, a trace evidence examiner with the ATF, provided testimony comparing labels found on files at Paul Moore's house with labels on the envelopes of the letters sent to the sheriff's office.
She said the labels are from a Brother label maker, and "they all appear to be the same type of tape system."
• Michaud testified that a piece of fishing line found wrapped around a 7-inch bolt found at the bomb site matched a spool of fishing line retrieved from a boat at Paul Moore's house.
The bolt matches an item labeled as "drop weight" in the diagram of the bomb.
Defense's look at the evidence
Defense attorney Linda Parisi cross-examined each witness about the commonness of the type of paper, type of printer, brand of label maker and fishing line.
All witnesses agreed that they were common items replicated thousands of times.
During a break in the trial, Colusa County District Attorney John Poyner said, "It's getting damn consistent."
Parisi argued in her opening statement that the defendant's cousin, Peter Moore, planted the indented diagram in cousin Paul Moore's house.
SACRAMENTO — Little has been said of Paul Moore's character in the Sacramento courtroom where he is being tried for the murder of Roberto Ayala.
But prosecutors Colusa County District Attorney John Poyner and Special Assistant Attorney General David Druliner have made the case that Moore knows how to build things and can transform an idea from paper to a working object, a skill they imply is necessary to construct a victim-triggered bomb.
Moore, a Grimes man, is accused of planting a bomb that killed Ayala, the foreman at Moore Brothers farm, on July 16, 2011. The family farm is owned by Moore's father, Roger Moore; and his uncle, Gus Moore.
Defense attorney Linda Parisi said she will argue Peter Moore, the defendant's cousin, is responsible for the bomb and was motivated by jealously of Ayala because he wanted to work on the farm instead of in his landscaping business.
Peter Moore testified on Monday that he loves his job and the only involvement he wanted in the farm was to farm his grandfather's ground, a walnut orchard.
Evidence depicting both Peter and Paul Moore's dislike of the Ayala brothers has been brought into the Colusa County Superior Court case, which is in its third week.
Paul Moore's mechanical and electrical abilities were discussed in court last week, when his son, Gunner Moore, testified that his father could rewire anything and make things out of nothing, according to Poyner.
Roger Moore testified that his son used his welding and design talents to build farm equipment, including a rice roller and aquabar for fertilizing rice.
He built "from paper to the actual physical thing?" Druliner asked.
"Yes," Roger Moore said.
That verbiage used by Druliner is relevant in the context of some of the evidence that has taken priority over the last two weeks of the trial: two paper letters, including a diagram of a bomb, that were sent a month after the bombing to the Colusa County Sheriff's Department in what appears to have been an effort to misdirect investigators.
The letters claimed to be written by a gang hitman responsible for the bomb.
Investigators believe the diagram of the bomb matches the actual bomb, and materials gathered at the evidence match what is depicted in the letter diagram.
Parisi, the defense attorney, provided evidence of Peter Moore's temper, including a witness who testified that he was threatened by him. The witness also claimed he heard Peter Moore threaten Roger Moore.
Parisi inquired about Peter Moore's mechanical ability on the stand on Monday.
She asked him if he could fix his own ATV or stand-up lawn mower he uses in his landscaping business.
He replied that he can do basic maintenance but would need to take equipment to a dealer for repairs.
Parisi then inquired about electrical skills needed to hook up sprinkling systems.
Peter Moore testified that he doesn't have a great understanding of electrical work and that setting up wiring for the sprinkler system is simple.