VALLEJO — The prosecution rested its case Wednesday after four weeks of testimony in the jury trial for a woman accused of killing of two women in 2007, one in Cordelia and one in Dixon.
Paige Linville is accused of joining her boyfriend, Mario Moreno, on a methamphetamine-fueled road trip that began in Vallejo where they picked up a stranger, Amber Chappell, promised her methamphetamine and then drove her to an isolated dead-end street in Cordelia where she was shot and killed.
Authorities believe the murder and another murder several hours later were the result of a pact between Linville and her boyfriend to kill people just to see how it felt.
Moreno testified earlier this week that Linville shot and killed Christine Baxley as she walked her dog during a lunch break outside of her Dixon apartment complex. Linville and Moreno were arrested a month after the murders when relatives of another woman Moreno was dating tipped off authorities.
Moreno has pleaded no contest to manslaughter charges in exchange for a maximum 32-year prison sentence in exchange for testifying against Linville, who faces a possible life sentence in prison without possibility of parole.
Moreno’s other girlfriend was the victim of frequent beatings, according to the first defense witness called to the stand by Linville’s defense attorney, Amy Morton.
An-ex girlfriend of Moreno’s also took the witness stand as a defense witness, but her testimony backfired. The ex-girlfriend said Moreno had been violent with her and that she was very afraid of him.
“He is a very twisted personality,” the ex-girlfriend testified after acknowledging that she had joined him in an arson scheme that landed them both behind bars.
But the ex-girlfriend went out of her way to emphasize that Moreno would not act rashly unless he had somebody encouraging him and telling him his actions were all right.
Morton’s defense is built on a foundation that Moreno was so dominant and controlling while Linville was passive and easily manipulated.
Linville’s father also took the witness stand, telling jurors his daughter’s drug abuse and addiction started when she was in junior high school and had become so bad that in late 2007 he had to fire her from her longtime job in his veterinary office. Linville’s father also said repeatedly that his daughter was nice with all the animals at his office.
The trial is expected to resume Feb. 4.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.