In his closing argument, Thomas stressed the phone-bill discrepancies, the absence of some physical evidence from Carrillo's home, and Diana Carrillo's assertion that Mashayekhi had been to the house before. Thomas also said Mashayekhi's claim that Carrillo was trying to get back at him for snitching years ago was not credible. "If you even try to connect the dots in the most loose way, it doesn't make any sense," Thomas said.

In the end, Thomas' arguments didn't sway Klar from scheduling the case for a jury trial. "The credibility of this witness [Mashayekhi] is not in doubt by this court," Klar said. "There wasn't much of anything I noticed that would make me raise my eyebrow and doubt his truthfulness."

The orange paint in the garage and on Mashayekhi's hands and Carrillo's curious statement that Mashayekhi "went voluntarily" were the prosecution's strongest evidence, he said.

"That statement puts Carrillo right in the garage," Klar said. "It all ties into one neat package."

In a subsequent interview, Thomas noted that the standard of evidence in a preliminary hearing is very low. Mashayekhi's testimony will not hold up to scrutiny in a jury trial, Thomas said.

The DA's office declined to comment for this story.

Carrillo was scheduled to be arraigned on May 14 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

DOLSON@OCWEEKLY.COM

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