D.A. waiting for feds' reports in explosion homicide
Paul Moore, 47, of Grimes, was scheduled to enter a plea Wednesday in Colusa County Superior Court, but District Attorney John Poyner said the matter was continued because he is still waiting for reports from the FBI and other agencies involved in the investigation.
Those reports will have to go to the defense as well before the next court hearing, Poyner said.
Moore is accused of rigging an explosive in an electrical box that detonated and killed Roberto Ayala when he went to turn on an irrigation pump at a rice field on July 16, the Colusa County Sheriff's Department reported.
Ayala died of shrapnel wounds and electrocution, the Colusa County Coroner's Office reported.
The field, owned by Moore's father, is located at the south end of Wescott Road, near the 2047 Canal and north of Abel Road.
Ayala's 10-year-old son witnessed the explosion.
Moore was arrested at his Grimes home on Dec. 6. He is being held in the Colusa County Jail on a no-bail hold.
Details of what led investigators to Moore have not been released.
The home of a family member was searched very early in the investigation, but Sheriff Scott Marshall said Pete Moore was never a suspect.
The violence of the explosion raised suspicions at the scene.
Utility officials told investigators that while the 480-volt electrical panel involved was powerful and could be dangerous, the force of the blast was greater than what would be expected, the Colusa County Sheriff's Department reported.
The Butte County bomb squad was called to the scene. That agency, as a matter of protocol, brought in the AT, which then involved the FBI.
In late August, the Sheriff's Department announced the death as a homicide.