A jail informant testified today that an Oakland man who’s accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend, even though her body has never been found, told him that he cut up her body and dumped it from a bridge into a body of water in Sonora.Dressed in a red and white jail jumpsuit, the informant said Eric Mora, 53, told him he didn’t want Cynthia Alonzo, who was 48 when she disappeared in November 2004, to get any money when he sold his house at 6201 Brookside Ave. in Oakland.The informant said he learned from Mora while both were in custody at the Glenn Dyer Jail in Oakland that Alonzo lived with him and they were boyfriend and girlfriend.The informant said, “Evidently she did it for money. He supplied her with crack cocaine and with all the sexual favors she’d done for him she figured she had something coming.”The informant said Mora told him he hit Alonzo in the head with a hammer when they were at his house and she fell down the stairs.He said Mora talked to him in jail because “he wanted my opinion on his case” and gave him extensive police reports and tapes.Prosecutor Donna London asked that the informant’s name not be published because he fears for his life.When Mora’s lawyer William Glass asked the informant about the location of a meeting he had with prosecutors in February, London objected, saying, “The safety of the witness is of utmost importance. I don’t want it made known where he is.”During a break in today’s hearing, London said the informant is a convicted felon but isn’t being given any special treatment in return for his testimony against Mora. She declined to provide details about the informant’s case, saying that such details might allow his identity to become widely known to other inmates and jeopardize his safety. Alonzo’s family members reported her missing when she failed to show up for Thanksgiving dinner at her mother’s house in San Francisco on Nov. 25, 2004.
Although Alonzo’s body hasn’t been found, prosecutors charged Mora with murdering her because Oakland police say Alonzo’s blood was recovered from the room where she stayed with him at his Oakland home and he had multiple scratches on his hands after she disappeared.Oakland police criminalist Todd Weller testified today about the blood and DNA that he found at Mora’s home in January 2005, a little more than a month after Alonzo was reported missing.Weller said it appeared that the floors at the home had recently been sanded and some of the walls had been recently cleaned.Weller and the informant testified in the third day of Mora’s second preliminary hearing on a charge that he murdered Alonzo.At the end of Mora’s first preliminary hearing on July 30, 2008, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman ruled that there was sufficient evidence against Mora to have him stand trial on the murder charge.But another judge dismissed the original case last year, ruling that Mora hadn’t clearly waived his right to have his preliminary hearing held in one continuous session.In an interesting twist, the reason that Mora’s preliminary hearing met only intermittently on about 20 days between Sept. 10, 2007, and July 30, 2008, is that Goodman and defense attorney William DuBois, who represented Mora at the time, were busy with the lengthy trial of Oakland computer programmer Hans Reiser, who was also charged with murder even though the body of his estranged wife Nina Reiser hadn’t been found.Reiser, who strongly denied killing Nina in his 10 days on the witness stand, was convicted of first-degree murder on April 28, 2008, because jurors believed that circumstantial evidence, such as blood and DNA evidence as well as Reiser’s incriminating behavior after Nina Reiser disappeared, proved he killed her.Weller was one of two criminalists who testified against Reiser.Reiser later admitted that he killed Nina and on July 7, 2008, he led authorities to the location in the Oakland hills where he buried her.His conviction was reduced to second-degree murder in exchange for his belated disclosure about Nina’s whereabouts and on Aug. 29, 2008, he was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison.Mora’s second preliminary hearing, which is taking place before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Tigar, is expected to conclude on Thursday. It hasn’t yet been disclosed if authorities have looked for Alonzo’s body in the Sonora area in Tuolumne County.In an unusual move, DuBois, who was later fired by Mora, put Mora on the witness stand in his first preliminary hearing. Defense attorneys generally are reluctant to put their clients on the witness stand in murder cases and if they choose to do so they usually wait until the case goes to trial.In several days of testimony, Mora repeatedly said he didn’t kill Alonzo and had nothing to do with her disappearance.on Nov. 19, 2007, he said, “I’m convinced she’s missing but I’m not convinced she’s dead.”On Oct. 30, 2007, Mora, who’s on probation for a possession of cocaine conviction and described himself as a habitual shoplifter, testified that he last saw Alonzo about 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 20, 2004, when he dropped her off at San Pablo and Athens avenues in West Oakland.Mora said he gave Alonzo $40 because she said she wanted to get high and knew a dealer named Clarence in that area.”That was the last time I saw her,” he said.
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