BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A veteran Taft College teacher and his young house guest were ordered Wednesday to stand trial in the suffocation death of the teacher’s longtime girlfriend who was bound and gagged in the teacher’s southwest Bakersfield home.
James Arthur Wyatt, 60, and Justin Mark Ennis, 21, were scheduled to be arraigned July 11 on a charge of second-degree murder.
The charge alleges they did something inherently dangerous to the victim, 44-year-old Lora Louise Shine, but they didn’t care about the possible fatal consequences.
Judge Gary T. Friedman also denied motions to reduce the $1 million bail for both men. He said there was a “total lack of stability by these two gentlemen.”
Shine was found in an upstairs bedroom in the 3500 block of Trojes Avenue where she had duct tape over her mouth and she was hog-tied with red plastic nylon tie-downs, police reported.
A balled-up sock which reportedly was in her mouth was found by her head, police said.
Defense attorneys Michael E. Dellostritto for Wyatt and Tony V. Lidgett for Ennis argued that there wasn’t any intent to kill Shine, and her death was more of a tragic accident.
They noted her nose wasn’t covered in tape.
Prosecutor David Wilson said the combination of the tape on the mouth and the sock was deadly.
No evidence was presented about who put the sock in the victim’s mouth.
Ennis has said it was that time that Wyatt was alone with Shine that Shine was killed.
Wyatt has denied any wrongdoing in the case. Hayes noted that Wyatt didn’t seem too upset with Shine’s death.
Wyatt was arrested in 2005 on suspicion of abusing Shine, but the charge was dismissed. Witnesses have told police that Shine was hurt by Wyatt over the years.
A witness at a bar told police she saw Wyatt and Shine argued and struggled with each other earlier on the day she was killed.
A man has told police that a year ago, Ennis bound him with duct tape, put a pillow case over his head and beat him, Hayes related.
Shine was very drunk when she was killed. She had a blood-alcohol level of 0.39, which is nearly five times the legal driving limit of 0.08.
Article By KGET, https://www.bakersfield.com/news/two-will-stand-trial-in-suffocation-death-of-woman/article_e71f419a-a62a-5f22-8afc-bb805da1486a.html