Sparks Appears in Court


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(POCATELLO) – Michael Lane Sparks appeared again in court Monday morning.

Sparks is accused of premeditated murder for allegedly beating his wife, Judith Rachel Johnson, to death with a baseball bat and a rifle over a year ago. Police said she was murdered in front of her children.

The judge has ordered criminal mediation in the case and told the prosecution it is time to put pressure on the state lab.

The hearing was set to take place in May of 2011, but because of the slow pace and delays from the state lab, there was no fingerprint analysis for the case.

Sparks has pleaded not guilty and maintained he is innocent. He remains in the Bannock County Jail on a $1 million bond.

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