It has all the elements of a sensational trial: the body a popular middle-aged woman is found brutally beaten in her own home on a quiet suburban road.
Her husband, the nationally renowned criminal defense attorney Daniel Horowitz, finds the body while trying to prepare a case involving a woman now convicted of killing her husband not 20 miles from the Horowitz home.
Defendant Scott Dyleski, a teen-aged boy described as “Goth” and fascinated with the macabre, is also accused of carving an arcane symbol into Pamela Vitale’s dead body.
Sensational details promise a lively trial — but Day 1 failed to draw nearly the media and public attention once predicted.
“Some of the networks aren’t here because the news is substantially Middle East driven right now,” said Peter Shaplen, the network consultant helping the court manage press access.
Shaplen has helped other courts develop strategies for accommodating media scrums. Most notably, he kept the courts in Santa Maria and Santa Clara running smoothly during the Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson trials.
“I think you’re going to see a lot of local interest,” he said.
Still, even the amateur trial watchers didn’t show up in force Thursday.
“I think they’ve blown this whole thing out of proportion,” said Rosemary, who refused to give her last name because she took time off work to be at the trail and doesn’t want to get into trouble with her boss.
“It’s not like Peterson where there’s a mystery about the whole thing,” she said.
Occam’s Razor in action.