Teen’s mom held as an accessory

first_imgMARTINEZ, Calif. – The mother of a teenager accused of killing his neighbor at her hilltop estate was arrested Thursday and held on suspicion of being an accessory to murder. Esther Fielding, 53, was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, according to a deputy at the Contra Costa County Jail. Fielding’s seat in the front row of a courtroom was vacant Thursday as her son, Scott Dyleski, 16, appeared before a judge on charges that he murdered Pamela Vitale, the wife of prominent defense attorney and television commentator Daniel Horowitz. Dyleski, charged with first-degree murder, stood behind a protective glass barrier during the brief court hearing. He did not enter a plea. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Contra Costa sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee could not be reached about Fielding’s arrest. On the night of Oct. 15, Dyleski was at a friend’s house with his girlfriend, according to an affidavit filed Tuesday in support of a search warrant for the girlfriend’s Walnut Creek house. After about an hour, the couple left for the girlfriend’s house “in order to have sex,” the affidavit said. Before he left, Dyleski called Fielding, who told him to spend the night in Walnut Creek. She said the road was blocked because of “police activity within the area,” the affidavit said. Dyleski was arrested Oct. 19, four days after the killing. Vitale’s body was found in a mobile home on the Lafayette estate where she and Horowitz were building their 7,000-square-foot dream home. Also Thursday, Contra Costa County Judge David B. Flinn issued a temporary gag order until a Nov. 10 hearing, after attorneys on both sides sought to keep the case out of the media spotlight. Lee said he received more than 200 media calls about the case on one day last week. Horowitz was a popular legal pundit who received national attention for his commentary during the double-murder trial of Scott Peterson, convicted last November of murdering his pregnant wife. In a move likely to bring the case even more attention, Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred has been retained by an unidentified witness in the case. Horowitz, who was defending Susan Polk, a woman accused of killing her husband, came home around 6 p.m. on Oct. 15 to find his wife’s body. He called 911 to report the murder, according to authorities. Vitale had been beaten and stabbed, investigators said. Dyleski was arrested after police received a tip from a neighbor who said his credit card was stolen, which led detectives to Dyleski. The credit card was allegedly used to buy hydroponic growing equipment – often used to cultivate marijuana – that was scheduled for delivery to the Horowitz residence, according to police documents. Investigators believe Dyleski went to the home looking for the equipment and got in a fight with Vitale, an investigative source who requested anonymity told the San Francisco Chronicle last week. In the Tuesday affidavit, a Contra Costa County sheriff’s detective said he was looking for a murder weapon “that could cause blunt force trauma,” blood samples, hair fibers, a stabbing instrument, among other evidence. The affidavit said investigators seized a duffel bag from a vehicle at Dyleski’s house that contained clothing items and a glove, both with traces of blood. “It appears as though some clothing items are still missing, as well as the stabbing instrument believed to have been used in the commission of the crime,” Detective Cary Goldberg wrote. Meantime, Dyleski’s lawyer, Thomas McKenna, asked the judge Thursday to remove him from the case. He said neither Dyleski nor the suspect’s father wants him on the case. McKenna defended the driver of a car that killed Scott Dyleski’s half-sister and another passenger in 2002. “He understands I need to withdraw from the case,” McKenna said of his client. The case was temporarily assigned to the Public Defender’s Office. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more