A woman who fatally stabbed a 60-year-old Anza man to empty his bank account and squat on his property was sentenced today to 26 years to life in prison.
Angela May Shaver, 46, of first-degree murder for the 2006 slaying of Paul "Pete" Cline, a writer well-known in the central Riverside County community.
Superior Court Judge Kelly Hansen imposed the sentence mandated by law on Shaver, who has a prior federal conviction for identity theft.
Co-defendant Chris Darrel Duve, 31, of Lake Elsinore, who led authorities to the victim's remains, was tried separately and acquitted of murder.
According to Deputy District Attorney Blaine Hopp, Cline was killed on either Feb. 14 or 15, 2006, during an attack that Shaver instigated and led. The victim, who had two adult daughters, was stabbed nine times, mainly in the neck, head and chest.
Cline, whom Hopp described as a "local literary superhero," knew Duve and Shaver and permitted them to put their single-wide trailer adjacent to his double-wide on a property he was leasing in the 36900 block of Old Cary Road in rural Anza.
"He really didn't have much in the way of assets, just some Social Security checks," Hopp told City News Service in May.
According to the prosecutor, Shaver and Duve decided to "take advantage" of Cline's generosity by stealing from his bank account. The pair swiped his ATM card, which the victim reported missing to sheriff's deputies just before he was killed, Hopp said.
Shaver killed Cline at his home, with the alleged help of Duve and another male friend, according to trial testimony.
After her arrest, she claimed the victim had used drugs with her and made unwanted sexual advances during that time, forcing her to act in self- defense. Hopp said none of the allegations were supportable.
According to the prosecutor, the murder weapon, a knife, was broken in two and burned, cast off by a man beholden to Shaver. The witness later took investigators to the location where the weapon was tossed and pleaded guilty to being an accessory.
Cline's remains were dumped on a hillside several miles from his home. Deputies were led to the location by Duve, who insisted he was not an active participant in the fatal assault, according to testimony.
Hopp said the defendants stole the victim's checkbook and wrote a number of checks to themselves after the murder.
Tips that Cline had been killed prompted investigators to obtain and serve a search warrant at his residence on March 21, 2006, where evidence showed Duve and Shaver had been staying in the double-wide trailer, according to the prosecution. The two were arrested days later.