Friday, October 15, 2010

Man Assaulted for Sending Junk Mail

Of course in today's high tech society, junk mail has taken on an entirely different meaning.
A 24-year-old Temecula man who sent an explicit cell phone photo to a 17-year-old girl testified in court Thursday that he felt sure he was about to be killed by the girl's angry father.

Justin Moore said after he was lured to William Atwood Sr.'s French Valley home Jan. 10, Atwood tied him up, fired a shotgun blast over his head and shocked him with a stun gun.

"I had no doubts," Moore said. "He was looking at the stars and he said, what a nice night ... too bad I'm not going to live through it."

A Riverside County Superior Court judge ruled at the conclusion of the hearing Thursday that there is sufficient evidence for Atwood, 45, to stand trial on charges of felony assault, false imprisonment and making criminal threats.

Atwood has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities have said Atwood, armed with a shotgun and a handgun, ordered Moore to strip to his boxers, bound him with zip ties, shocked him on the neck with a stun gun and threatened to bury him on the Pechanga Indian Reservation.

After about an hour, authorities say, Atwood turned Moore over to Riverside County sheriff's deputies. He told them Moore had trespassed on his property and he feared for his family's safety.

After finding out about the explicit photo, Atwood had filed a police report accusing Moore, then 23, of sending pornography to a minor, authorities said.

Defense attorney Jeff Van Wagenen said Atwood also had reported that his family saw a man in the early-morning hours peering through the window at another daughter within a few days of when the photo was sent. Atwood believes Moore was the man at the window, Van Wagenen said.

On the witness stand Thursday, Moore teared up and held his hand to the side of his face, blocking his view of Atwood, as he described the encounter.

Moore had been friends with both Atwood's daughter and son. A few days before the incident, he said, he sent a cell phone photo of his genitals to the girl and other friends as a joke.

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