Bombing murder suspect held over for trial
Roberto Ayala had picked up his young son, Fabian, at their Grimes home and headed into Colusa to do a little shopping at the grocery store.
Then they headed out to a rice field at the south end of Wescott Road so Moore could turn on a water pump.
Fabian Ayala, just 7 at the time, sat in his father's pickup finishing his lunch when he heard an explosion, then raced over to where his dad laid dead on the ground.
Ayala, now 8, retold his story as the first witness in a two-day preliminary hearing for Paul Moore, the Grimes man charged with murder in the death of Ayala on July 16, 2011.
Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Thompson ruled Friday that the evidence was sufficient enough to hold Moore over for trial.
He will be arraigned in the trial division on March 20.
"Things went fine. I have no problem with it," Colusa County District Attorney John Poyner said. "What we wanted to get into evidence, we did."
Moore's attorney, Linda Parisi, said she was not surprised by the judge's decision, but said the trial is a different situation.
"We will be very active in putting on a defense for Mr. Moore," Parisi said. The defense did not call any witnesses during the preliminary hearing.
Parisi said that while the prosecution has come to one conclusion based on the evidence and information in the case, the jury will learn that there are a number of other explanations and conclusions to be drawn from the same material.
The prosecution's burden at the preliminary hearing was to convince the judge that a murder had taken place, and the evidence was sufficient to show Moore committed the crime.
It is not the stricter standard of "no reasonable doubt" the jury will be held to in time.
Fabian Ayala's testimony Thursday afternoon carried the only emotional sting in the hearing.
The boy had run several miles to find help for his father, and testified that he told the man his father was dead.
The man then called the Sheriff's Department.
When asked by Poyner if he knew if his father had a cell phone, Fabian Ayala said yes.
Asked why he didn't just take it from his pocket and call 911, the boy answered because "his shirt was on fire."
Roberto Ayala died of shrapnel wounds and electrocution.
The pathologist's report, which the prosecution and defense allowed in without the need of Dr. Mark Super testif ing at the hearing, stated that Ayala took shrapnel to the face, neck and chest area, with pieces penetrating his heart and one of his lungs.
One of his arms was nearly amputated from the blast, and he also suffered wounds to his leg. The report further states that 80 percent of Ayala's body was burned.
Except for the questions put to Fabian Ayala, the prosecution's case was laid out by Dave Druliner from the state Attorney General's office.
Much of the testimony centered around a piece of paper, which the prosecution said had an impressed image of a diagram of the purported bomb.
That diagram, witnesses said, was one of the items that had been mailed to the Sheriff's Department during the investigation.
The indented paper was found on what was described as a dining room table during a search of Moore's home in December 2011. Later testimony indicated Moore's fingerprints were found on the paper.
Witnesses also noted consistencies and other information that linked evidence from the bomb site to the diagram, while Parisi worked on revealing elements that were inconsistent or unrelated to the diagram and discussing items that were or were not found at the crime scene.
The parade of forensic evidence established the basic foundation of the case, which Poyner said also will include more DNA evidence and a host of other witnesses at trial.
He also said the motive for the crime will be addressed, but said that theory is "not concrete" and is still being developed.
Parisi said all of that is just one theory, and she believes the evidence supports "numerous other" conclusions that Moore did not commit the crime.