2 Men Convicted in 2006 Triple Killing at Burning Home in Pinyon Pines

A  jury found two men guilty in the killings of three people found dead inside their burning Pinyon Pines home in 2006, officials said Thursday.


Robert Lars Pape, left, and Cristin Conrad Smith were charged March 12, 2014, with murder in a 2006 triple homicide in Pinyon Pines. (Credit: Riverside County Sheriff’s Department)

Robert Lars Pape, 29, and Cristin Conrad Smith, 29, were each convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of Jon Hayward and Vicki Friedli, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. Pape was also found guilty of second-degree murder for the  death of Friedli’s daughter, Becky.

“Justice in this case, in particular for the family and friends of Jon Hayward, Vicki Friedli, and Vicki’s daughter Becky, has been a long time coming,” District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in a statement.

The three bodies were found just before 10 p.m. on Sept. 17, 2006, when firefighters responded to a call of a house fire in the 68000 block of Alpine Drive. Firefighters first discovered Becky Friedli’s body on fire in a wheelbarrow near the home, prosecutors said.

After extinguishing the fire inside the home, firefighters then found the bodies of Vicki Friedli and Hayward.

According to the DA’s office, Becky Friedli was in a relationship with Pape and was supposed to go hiking with him and Smith the day she was killed. Pape told investigators he did not hike with Becky and had only been with Smith at the time of the killings, officials said.

Investigators found a business card with DNA that matched Smith’s at the scene, the DA’s office said.

The jury, made up of 10 men and two women, listened to testimony for about 23 days and deliberated for 10 days before reaching their guilty verdicts.

Pape and Smith are scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 10.

Both men face life in prison without the possibility of parole.