The judge presiding over the murder trial of Richard Dale Wilson, the San Francisco accountant accused of killing a man implicated in his fiancee's death, Monday denied a defense motion to dismiss charges against Wilson.
Judge Luis A. Cardenas of the Orange County West Superior Court said the failure of the prosecution to turn over to the defense notes that were written by Costa Mesa police investigators was "not substantial enough" to warrant dismissing the case.
"It is harmless or near harmless, and there has been no prejudice," Cardenas said.
The trial had been delayed for several days while the judge pondered the defense motion. It was discovered last week that the notes written by the police detectives who investigated the murder of Jeffrey Molloy Parker in 1983 had not been handed to the defense.
Wilson is accused of shooting Parker to death on Aug. 2, 1983, in front of the Costa Mesa home of Parker's mother.
Parker's slaying came just 36 hours before he was scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing on charges that he murdered Joan McShane Mills during a night of violent sex, drugs and drinking at a Beverly Hills hotel on April 30, 1983. Mills had suffered 12 broken ribs and a punctured lung. Her face was also badly bruised, and several teeth were broken.
Joel W. Baruch, one of Wilson's two defense attorneys, said the notes detailed the 1981 death of another young woman in the bathtub of a Manhattan Beach apartment.
The Manhattan Beach victim suffered injuries similar to those that killed Mills, Baruch said. Parker was not charged in that incident.
The defense attorneys said that there were other people with sufficient motive to kill Parker and that the information contained in the police notes could have given them a lead in finding other possible suspects in Parker's murder.
Wilson's second attorney, Tony J. Serra of San Francisco, also said that had the defense known about the 1981 death of the Manhattan Beach woman, defense investigators would not have wasted a year exploring "a cold trail."
However, Cardenas said Parker's past conduct, especially in violent cases against women, would not be relevant in Wilson's trial.
"Even if you can prove this Jeffrey Parker was some kind of monster, what difference does that make in our case? We are not trying Jeffrey Parker," the judge said.
Although the prosecution has no witness to Parker's murder or physical evidence in the case, Deputy Dist. Atty. Douglas H. Woodsmall is centering arguments on the testimony of Okiel Wilson, the defendant's brother, and Robert C. Hale, Wilson's brother-in-law. Both have told police that Richard Wilson told them he had killed Parker, and Wilson has challenged the veracity of both witnesses.
Hale, of Wilmington in Los Angeles, is scheduled to testify today.