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A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in the slaying of a prominent defense attorney’s wife, and a newspaper reported that he allegedly clubbed her to death with a piece of crown molding while trying to find marijuana-growing equipment he bought with stolen credit card information. Scott Dyleski was arrested late Wednesday night, four days after the body of Pamela Vitale, 52, was found by her husband, attorney Daniel Horowitz, at their Lafayette, Calif., estate Saturday. An autopsy Monday found that Vitale died of blunt force trauma to the head. Dyleski lived down the hill from Vitale and Horowitz on a remote canyon road. Walnut Creek, Calif., criminal defense lawyer Thomas McKenna confirmed Thursday that Dyleski had consulted him about his case, but declined to comment further. McKenna’s work covers a variety of felonies and misdemeanors, and he has represented juveniles “quite a bit,” said Blackie Burak, a solo who has shared offices with McKenna for about 20 years. David Pastor, a criminal law solo in Walnut Creek, described McKenna as “well known and well liked.” If charged with murder, prosecutors will have to decide whether to try Dyleski as a juvenile or as an adult. If convicted as an adult, he could face life in prison. If tried and convicted as a juvenile, he could not be incarcerated beyond his 25th birthday. Because of his age, he would not face the death penalty. Harold “Hal” Jewett, who heads the Contra Costa County district attorney’s homicide unit, declined to comment specifically on Vitale’s killing, noting that the case had not yet been submitted to his office. In terms of a charging decision, he said, “Hopefully we’ll make a decision [today].” Contra Costa County sheriff’s officials declined to speculate further on Dyleski’s arrest, saying the investigation will continue “nonstop.” “We’re still trying to establish the exact motive,” said sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee. “Although we have a suspect in custody � much more work needs to be done.” The San Francisco Chronicle, however, citing an unidentified law enforcement source, reported that investigators believe the killing was related to a scheme that involved using stolen credit card numbers to fund a marijuana-growing operation. The source said Dyleski had allegedly ordered equipment for the pot operation and mistakenly thought the supplies were delivered to Horowitz and Vitale’s home, the newspaper reported on its Web site Thursday.He allegedly went there Saturday looking for the equipment and got into a fight with Vitale, striking her dozens of times in the head with a piece of molding that was left behind at the scene, according to the source. Vitale, a former high-tech executive, had worked in Horowitz’s Oakland, Calif., law office. She had been overseeing the construction of the couple’s 7,000-square-foot Lafayette home full time. At the time of Vitale’s death, Horowitz had been defending Susan Polk, an Orinda, Calif., woman accused of murdering her husband, in a case that had garnered significant media attention. On Monday, Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Laurel Brady dismissed the jury and declared a mistrial in the Polk case, citing excessive news coverage of Vitale’s death. A new trial date is expected to be set Dec. 2. It is unclear whether Horowitz and Polk’s co-counsel, Ivan Golde, will continue to represent Polk. Horowitz rose to national prominence as a cable news commentator during the Scott Peterson murder trial. He attended Vitale’s funeral service Thursday and was unavailable for comment, according to Fox News legal analyst Robert Massi, Horowitz’s friend and attorney. “He is preparing for the eulogy for his wife,” Massi said Thursday morning, adding that Horowitz had not watched the news conference announcing Dyleski’s arrest. “His position was, they got the bad guy, and who it is, [he'll] find out later.” Reporter Warren Lutz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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