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Mistrial Declared in Anza Stabbing Case

Jury misconduct caused jurors to be excused and a trial that was six years in the making to be postponed.

 

A case that took six years to bring to trial was postponed due to juror misconduct.

Opening statements had just been completed and prosecution testimony was about to begin in the murder trial of Angela May Shaver when Judge Kelly Hansen halted the proceedings.

According to a court log summarizing the day's activity, jurors were pulled aside and questioned by Hansen after a clerk informed him that she had received an anonymous call stating that there were problems with the jury panel.

Hansen determined that five jurors committed misconduct -- the nature of which was not disclosed -- and dismissed the remaining jurors, ordering that
the five violators return to the Southwest Justice Center Monday for a contempt hearing.

A status conference is also scheduled for Hansen and attorneys to confer on when to set a new trial date for Shaver.

There was no immediate word on whether the trial for Shaver's co-defendant, Chris Darrel Duve, will proceed. A separate jury was convened to hear evidence in that case and opening statements were completed today.

Jurors were ordered to return Monday for an update on whether testimony will continue, or the court intends to assemble a new panel.

District Attorney's Office Public Information Officer John Hall said that having the two trials going simultaneously made scheduling witnesses easier, so the court could dismiss the Duve jury based on that and other factors.

Shaver, 48, of Meadowbrook and Duve, 31, of Lake Elsinore could each face 50 years to life in prison if convicted in the 2006 death of Paul "Pete'' Cline.

Both defendants are charged with first-degree murder and weapons allegations and are being held in lieu of $1 million bail -- Duve at the in French Valley, and Shaver at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

According to a trial brief filed by Deputy District Attorney Blaine Hopp, Cline was killed sometime between Feb. 15 and March 5, 2006. The prosecutor said the victim knew Duve and Shaver, and the pair allegedly attacked him with a knife, stabbing him multiple times, in his house at 36990
Old Cary Road.

According to the brief, after his arrest, Duve allegedly admitted to investigators that there was a plan to kill Cline, apparently to steal his assets. The victim had reported the fraudulent use of his bank card card to sheriff's deputies a few days before his death, Hopp said.

In her interview with investigators, Shaver alleged that Cline had made unwanted sexual advances oward her, prompting her to stab him, according to court papers.

After the attack, the defendants, with the help of several friends -- all of whom will testify for the prosecution -- removed the victim's body, dumping it on a hillside southeast of Anza, prosecutors allege.

Tips that Cline had been murdered prompted investigators to obtain and serve a search warrant at his residence on March 21, 2006, and evidence showed Duve and Shaver had been staying in the house, according to the brief.

Duve later took detectives to the location of the victim's remains, the brief states.

Duve has prior convictions for auto theft and receiving stolen property, while Shaver has a prior federal conviction for identity theft, according to
court records.

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