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Murder suspect's mother arrested

Blood found on clothing, glove at teen suspect's home

Scott Dyleski talks to his lawyer through a screen in the courtroom.


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MARTINEZ, California (CNN) -- The mother of a 16-year-old charged in the brutal slaying of an attorney's wife was arrested Thursday on a charge of accessory to murder for allegedly telling her son not to come home because police had blocked off the neighborhood following the killing.

Scott Edgar Dyleski, who will be tried as an adult on first-degree murder charges, was arraigned Thursday. He did not enter a plea.

The hearing was continued until November 9 after his attorney withdrew from the case citing "financial considerations" and a previous association with the Dyleski family. (Watch Scott Dyleski's arraignment -- 2:10)

Dyleski is being held on $1 million bail.

The October 15 slaying of Pamela Vitale, 52, has drawn national attention because her husband, Daniel Horowitz, is a high-profile defense attorney and occasional TV commentator. Dyleski was one of their neighbors.

According to an affidavit, the suspect's mother, Esther Fielding, allegedly told her son about the police presence in the area on the night of the slaying and advised him to spend the night at his girlfriend's house because the road had been blocked off.

Fielding is being held at the main jail in Martinez, California.

In the affidavit, Contra Costa Sheriff detective Cary Goldberg said a friend of Dyleski told police that Dyleski arrived at his home with his girlfriend on the evening of the killing. After about an hour, the "suspect and his girlfriend left and stated that they were going to (her) residence in order to have sex."

The friend, Oscar Timms, told the detective that Dyleski called his mother before leaving.

Gloria Allred is representing Dyleski's girlfriend.

Girlfriend's home searched

District Attorney Bob Kochly Thursday declined to comment on the case.

Thomas McKenna, who represented Dyleski on Thursday, asked Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge David Flynn that he be dismissed from the case. In 2002 McKenna represented the driver of a car that killed Dyleski's half-sister and another passenger. McKenna told CNN that "financial considerations" also were a factor in his decision.

A public defender will be assigned to represent the Dyleski, the judge said.

A hearing on a defense request for a gag order is to be held November 10. Both sides in the case support the motion because of the intense publicity.

Horowitz found his wife in their mobile home near Lafayette, east of Oakland, where the couple lived while their dream home was being built on the property. Dyleski lived nearby.

In an affidavit by Goldberg that was attached to requests for search warrants, he said deputies found the body of Vitale "lying in a pool of blood" on the living room floor. She had a traumatic head injury and multiple wounds on her legs, he said.

The county's crime lab processed a large, bloody shoeprint on the lid of a storage container collected from the crime scene, Goldberg said in the affidavit.

Police found a duffle bag in an inoperable vehicle at Dyleski's home, the detective said. Inside, were several items of clothing, and the lab found traces of blood. A glove also had blood on it, Goldberg said.

Deputies also searched the girlfriend's home and the house of a family member in Walnut Creek, where Dyleski was arrested. No details were available on what may have been found at those locations.

While the crime scene was being investigated, Goldberg said a neighbor, Doug Schneider, told him his credit cards had been stolen and had recently been used to purchase hydroponic growing equipment. Hydroponics is the cultivation of plants in a nutrient solution rather than soil.

The equipment was to be shipped to the Vitale-Horowitz home, Goldberg said, but the supplier denied the purchase, suspecting it was fraudulent.

"Mr. Schneider believed this purchase ... may be related to the murder of Pamela Vitale," the detective said.

According to a law enforcement official, investigators suspect Vitale confronted the boy on her property and that confrontation may have led to the slaying.

CNN's Ted Rowlands contributed to this report.

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