PLEASANTON -- Attorneys for a Livermore couple charged with murder after their partner died following the explosion of their drugmaking lab say their clients are being treated too harshly.
Evan Aviles, 22, and his girlfriend Lexie Hutson, 23, made their second court appearance Wednesday. They were arrested June 14 for the murder of Paul Lom and for manufacturing a controlled substance. They are due back in court to possibly enter a plea at 9 a.m. on July 12 in Alameda County Superior court in Pleasanton.
"It seems overcharged," said David Bryden, an Oakland-based attorney appointed to represent Hutson. "I don't understand the theory for making it murder. She may have been a victim, or the decedent may have killed himself."
Aviles' appointed attorney, Mario Andrews, had similar concerns, saying the district attorney will have difficulty proving murder.
Hutson and Aviles were charged with murder for their roles in a May 21,2011 explosion at their Livermore apartment that resulted in the death of Paul Lom, who police said was part of the trio's alleged hashish oil operation.
Lom, 35, Aviles and Hutson, who police say had downloaded a drugmaking video, were all critically injured in the explosion that was caused when butane -- a flammable liquid used to make the drug -- spilled and pooled on the apartment floor, causing the explosion. They were taken to area hospitals the day of the explosion and Lom died five days later from his
An Alameda County District Attorney's office spokeswoman said the charges were made after a full review of the evidence.
Aviles and Hutson are both being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin without bail.
Bryden also said Hutson told him that she has not been allowed a compression suit and lotion necessary for the burns she suffered in the explosion. Bryden had not yet seen Hutson's medical records but said she has severe burns and is missing portions of her fingers.
Contact Robert Jordan at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/robjordan127.