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An Oakland man who was convicted of second-degree murder for the death of his ex-girlfriend more than seven years ago — even though her body has never been found — was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison. Prosecutor Casey Bates said “the road to justice” has been very long for 56-year-old Eric Mora for the presumed death of Cynthia Linda Alonzo, who was 48 when she disappeared in November 2004.
Bates noted that Mora hired and fired a number of attorneys and went through two preliminary hearings before finally standing trial earlier this year and being convicted on Feb. 28. Mora didn’t speak at today’s hearing in the courtroom of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara, and will appeal his conviction. Prosecutor Danielle London admitted in her closing argument in February that Alonzo’s body has never been found and that she doesn’t know how Alonzo was killed.
But she said circumstantial evidence, such as Alonzo’s blood being found in Mora’s house, ties Mora to her death. “We don’t know it all but we know enough,” London told jurors. 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. There has been no trace of her since then, London said. Prosecutors filed murder charges against Mora in February 2007 because Oakland police said Alonzo’s blood was recovered from the room where she stayed with him at his home at 6201 Brookside Ave. in the Oakland hills, and he had multiple scratches on his hands after she disappeared.
Alonzo’s daughter, Terresa Jones, 35, told Mora today that, “My mother was our everything, and you robbed her of her life.” Jones also said she is upset that Mora has never disclosed where he disposed of Alonzo’s body. But one of Mora’s daughters, Erica Mora, said after today’s hearing that she still thinks Mora is innocent and that he didn’t get a fair trial because evidence helpful to the defense was excluded from the case. Mora didn’t testify during his trial but he took the witness stand in his first preliminary hearing in 2007 and 2008, saying that he didn’t have anything to do with Alonzo’s disappearance and that he thought she might still be alive.
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