A prosecutor told jurors Wednesday that Eric Mora's offer to pay a bribe to a fellow jail inmate to give him an alibi shows that he was "desperate" to beat the charge that he murdered his ex-girlfriend, who disappeared more than seven years ago and has never been found.
In her closing argument in the trial of Mora, 55, prosecutor Danielle London said Mora first offered Patrice Fluker $1,000 to give him an alibi during his preliminary hearing in 2007 and then increased his offer to $5,000 when Fluker said he had decided that he could not lie on Mora's behalf.
London said jurors should believe Fluker's testimony that Mora admitted to him that he killed Cynthia Linda Alonzo, who was 48 when she disappeared in November 2004, because Fluker has not gained any benefits from law enforcement for testifying against Mora.
She said Fluker, who has been in and out of prison for most of his life for drug offenses and other crimes, has had his life threatened by his former gang associates who strongly believe that gang members should never testify.
London said Fluker "has been hiding and ducking his enemies since 2007 and has gotten a death sentence" from other inmates.
Although Alonzo's body has never been found, London told jurors that circumstantial evidence, including DNA, ties Mora to Alonzo's death.
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 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's been no trace of her ever since, London said.
Mora's lawyer, Colin Cooper, will give his closing argument later today or on Thursday.
In his opening statement last month, Cooper said Mora "did not have anything to do whatsoever with the disappearance of Cynthia Alonzo" and alleged that the prosecution's case against him is "based on assumptions, conjectures and speculation."
Cooper said, "The prosecution has no body, no fingerprints, no murder weapon, no motive, no cause of death and no direct or credible evidence."
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.