Closing arguments start Thursday in Colusa County bombing case
SACRAMENTO — Paul Moore's defense attorney Linda Parisi called four witnesses to the stand Wednesday afternoon before she rested her case, and Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson instructed the jurors how to interpret the now complete evidence.
The prosecution rested its case in the morning in the three week-long trial against Grimes resident Paul Moore, who is accused in the murder of Roberto Ayala, Moore Brothers farm foreman, on July 16, 2011.
Ayala was killed with a bomb in a ricefield south of Colusa, authorities said.
The last few days of the trial have heavily focused on Peter Moore, who Parisi has argued is responsible for Ayala's murder.
Parisi has argued much of her case through cross-examination of the prosecution's witnesses, constructing an image of Peter Moore as angry and threatening.
Consuela Ruiz and her husband, who has worked for the farm for over 35 years, testified that Peter Moore told them in May 2011 that he hated Ayala, that "he was taking karate" and that the two would "see what's going to happen," to Ayala.
Parisi asked Consuela Ruiz, "Do you have a recollection that Peter threatened to kill Roberto or Eduardo?"
"No, just to hurt," she replied.
Ruiz said that in 2012, Peter Moore told them to forget everything he had said to them in 2011.
She also said that she believed Peter Moore intentionally killed her dog years earlier.
Witness Keith Willingham of Grimes then testified that he witnessed Peter Moore threaten his father, Gus Moore, over the phone.
Throughout the trial, multiple witnesses have testified to Moore's frequent threats.
After the short session of questioning, Parisi rested her case.
"You have heard all the evidence you are going to hear in this case," Thompson told the jury of six women and six men. The case was moved to Sacramento after the judge granted the defense's request to change venues.
"It is up to you and you alone to decide what happened," he told them.
Thompson explained to the jury that direct and indirect, or circumstantial, evidence is appropriate evidence to consider.
He explained that circumstantial evidence allows one to infer a conclusion, for example that someone walking inside with a wet coat may indirectly provide evidence that it is raining outside.
Thompson explained that if the jury can conclude multiple outcomes from the information provided by circumstantial evidence and one of those reasonable outcomes points to Paul Moore's innocence, the jury must choose the outcome of not guilty if solely relying on that evidence.
Prosecutors Special Assistant Attorney General David Druliner and Colusa County District Attorney John Poyner focused heavily on circumstantial evidence, including letters that included a diagram of a bomb that were linked to Paul Moore through forensic specialist witness testimony.
Thompson instructed the jury that the prosecution is not required to prove that the defendant had a motive, but they do have to prove that the defendant committed the act that caused the death of another person and he had malice aforethought, that the murder was willful, deliberate and premeditated.
He said the defense is "not required to prove that somebody else did it." But, if the jury has a reasonable doubt that Paul Moore did not commit murder, they must find him innocent.
Druliner, Poyner and Parisi will give final statements in the Sacramento courthouse on Thursday before the jury goes into deliberation.