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New trial ordered in Oakland 'no-body” murder conviction

Here s the Rap Sheet for March 1, 2016:

MURDER CONVICTION TOSSED: The second-degree murder conviction of a man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend whose body was never found was reversed today by a state appeals court on the grounds that a judge wrongly barred him from showing that someone else could have killed her.

Eric Mora, now 59, was sentenced in 2012 to a prison term of 15 years to life for the 2004 killing of Cynthia Alonzo, 48.

Mora had rejected an offer from prosecutors for a voluntary manslaughter conviction in return for leading police to Alonzo s body. His attorneys had maintained there was no evidence no body and no witnesses to convict him of murder.

Alonzo went missing when she failed to show up at a Thanksgiving11 dinner with her family in San Francisco in 2004. Her blood was found in his home on the 6200 block of Brookside Avenue in the Oakland hills, authorities said.

Mora also had a deep cut to his hand, prosecutors said.

A search of his home uncovered drops of Alonzo s blood on his bedroom wall and evidence that he had tried to clean it up, authorities said.

Mora had also unevenly sanded his bedroom and living room floors, investigators said. After his arrest, Mora tried to pay a fellow inmate to give him a false alibi, but the inmate ultimately testified for the prosecution.

In his appeal, Mora said Judge Vern Nakahara of Alameda County Superior Court improperly prevented him from introducing so-called third-party culpability evidence, or evidence pointing to someone else as the killer.

The victim had filed police reports detailing that she had twice been threatened by individuals warning her that if her son testified in an upcoming murder trial, she could be harmed, the appeals court noted.

Exclusion of this evidence deprived defendant of the opportunity to demonstrate to the jury that, around the time of Alonzo s disappearance, other individuals with wholly distinct motives (to wit, preventing her son from testifying in an unrelated murder case) were threatening to harm her, Associate Justice Martin Jenkins wrote in a 42-page ruling22.

The excluded evidence tended to prove that Alonzo may have been killed by one of these individuals or their associates, or that she disappeared on her own volition out of fear of these individuals.

The appeals court kicked the case back to Superior Court and ordered a new trial for Mora.

The case evoked comparisons to that of Hans Reiser33, the computer programmer who led police to his wife s body after he was convicted of murdering her in his Oakland hills home in 2006. A jury found Reiser guilty of first-degree murder, but he was sentenced to 15 years to life for second-degree murder as part of the deal to recover the body.

FED GUARD ATTACK: A man has been charged with punching a U.S.

Marshals Service security officer at the San Francisco Federal Building while trying to talk to the FBI about his terrorism concerns and Hitler, authorities said today.

Stephen Peeler, 26, allegedly punched the security officer, identified in court documents only as E.C. at the federal building at 450 Golden Gate Avenue about 11:15 a.m.


Stephen Peeler entered the south main entry door and, without provocation, punched E.C. on the left side of the jaw with his right hand (closed fist), Maria Juarbe, a special agent with the U.S.

Department of Homeland Security wrote in an affidavit filed in U.S.

District Court in San Francisco.

E.C. was momentarily dazed by the attack but arrested Peeler with the help of nearby officers, authorities said.

Peeler told investigators that he had been denied entry to the federal courthouse inside the building by another security officer because he didn t have valid identification, Juarbe wrote.

Peeler then went outside and decided that he needed to get into the federal court facility to speak with the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his terrorism concerns and Hitler, Juarbe wrote.

Peeler said he didn t want to assault a female or elderly guard and chose E.C. because he appeared as if he could take a hit, the affidavit says.

It made sense to him to strike E.C.

Peeler was sorry.

Peeler has been charged with assault on a federal officer.

He is being held without bail at a downtown Oakland jail.

You can see Henry Lee daily on KTVU.

If you have a tip for Henry, send an email to email protected or contact him on Twitter445


  1. ^6 Thanksgiving (www.sfgate.com)7
  2. ^8 42-page ruling (www.courts.ca.gov)9
  3. ^10 Hans Reiser (www.sfgate.com)11
  4. ^12 Twitter (twitter.com)13


  1. ^ Thanksgiving (www.sfgate.com)
  2. ^ 42-page ruling (www.courts.ca.gov)
  3. ^ Hans Reiser (www.sfgate.com)
  4. ^ email protected (sia.tips)
  5. ^ Twitter (twitter.com)
  6. ^ Jump to Link in Article (news.google.co.uk)
  7. ^ Thanksgiving (www.sfgate.com)
  8. ^ Jump to Link in Article (news.google.co.uk)
  9. ^ 42-page ruling (www.courts.ca.gov)
  10. ^ Jump to Link in Article (news.google.co.uk)
  11. ^ Hans Reiser (www.sfgate.com)
  12. ^ Jump to Link in Article (news.google.co.uk)
  13. ^ Twitter (twitter.com)

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