VALLEJO — After more than eight hours on the witness stand in her murder trial, the defense rested its case Wednesday, wrapping up the seventh week of testimony in the jury trial for accused double-killer Paige Linville.
Authorities believe Linville joined her boyfriend in a multiple-day methamphetamine binge that included shooting and killing two women, one in a dark, remote cul-de-sac in Cordelia and the other as she walked her dog at lunchtime in Dixon on Nov. 16, 2007.
Linville said repeatedly that she was terrified of her boyfriend, Mario Moreno, and was petrified throughout the night and day of both killings. She said he was the triggerman in both shootings and that everything she did or did not do was motivated by her fear of him killing her.
Linville, who also spent hours on the witness stand Monday, continued to insist that she had almost no memory of any conversations with Moreno before, during or after the murders, other than his alleged death threats to her.
“I remember the state I was in, but I don’t remember what was said,” Linville testified.
Linville did remember using lots of methamphetamine during the day of the killing. She also remembered dealing methamphetamine to her customers in the Vallejo area both before and after the murders.
Some of the first questions prosecutor Krishna Abrams had for Linville involved the size of her business endeavor. Linville said she “sold an ounce or so of dope every two or three days” and agreed that an ounce was priced around $1,000. She also acknowledged that she dealt methamphetamine with Moreno, who had a separate group of customers.
Linville said she put in a normal workday at her father’s veterinary office in Vallejo after Moreno dropped her off there after both murders.
“I worked the best I could,” Linville said. “I just tried to block it out of my mind.”
Linville said the family Thanksgiving dinner two weeks after the murders was a “real, real difficult time,” as was the San Francisco 49ers game she went to with her parents about a week before she and Moreno were arrested for the murders.
After Abrams was done with Linville, her defense attorney once again raised Linville’s claim that she was kidnapped and raped at age 9 and that she never mentioned the attack to anyone until after she was an adult and was locked up doing time for dealing methamphetamine.
Linville’s attorney, Amy Morton, has said post-traumatic stress from the rape carried over to the night of the double-homicide, paralyzing and freezing Linville while Moreno ordered her about.
Morton asked Linville if she knew she was under the possible penalty of perjury if she was lying about the attack.
“Of course I’m being truthful,” Linville said. “Why would I lie about something like that?”
After Linville got off the witness stand, a second woman who did time behind bars with Linville took the stand to describe Linville telling her about the killings and “wanting to know what it felt like to kill somebody.”
Linville has denied saying anything that seems like the killings were done just for the thrill.
Moreno, who took a plea deal on a pair of manslaughter charges in exchange for testifying against Linville, is expected to retake the witness stand when the trial resumes Tuesday. He has already testified that Linville committed the second murder, and agreed to help with setting up and then cleaning up after the first murder.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.