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Challis man who shot woman in back of head guilty of first-degree murder

Crime Watch

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Mark Wilson | Katie Keleher, Pool photo

RIGBY — After three days of trial and hours of deliberation, a jury has found a Challis man who shot and killed a 75-year-old woman guilty.

The 12-person jury deliberated for nearly four hours before reaching the verdict.

The prosecution and defense in the murder trial of Mark Wilson, 54, rested shortly before noon Wednesday. Before the jury entered deliberations, District Judge Stevan Thompson instructed them to decide whether Wilson was guilty of first- or second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter.

During his closing arguments, Custer County Prosecutor Justin Oleson argued Wilson was guilty of first-degree murder. Idaho law requires the prosecution to prove a killing was premeditated for the killing to be considered first-degree murder.

In arguing Pat Brown’s death was premeditated, Oleson reviewed the events the day she died — March 24, 2018. Around 2:30 p.m., Wilson told his neighbor he had a problem with cats on his property and asked to borrow a pistol. Wilson is a convicted felon and is not allowed to have a gun. The neighbor lent him a .22 caliber rifle because he couldn’t find the pistol.

Wilson drove to and from the neighbor’s house, which was within walking distance. Oleson asserted Wilson trying to hide the gun. He Wilson got back to the house he went inside for a moment then went back out to the truck to get the gun.

Justin Oleson shows the jury the gun Wilson used to shoot and kill Pat Brown. | Katie Keleher, Pool video

He went down to the basement, where he ultimately shot Brown in the back of the head from about 15 feet away. He then closed the door to the room Brown was in. He left her in the basement, where she struggled to breathe. Around 10 minutes later, Wilson called 911 and told them he had shot and killed Brown and told them to send the coroner.

“This is a premeditated, deliberate killing of a human being,” Oleson told the jury.

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Wilson’s public defender, James Archibald, argued Wilson was dazed and confused. He talked about how Wilson and Brown had been arguing and drinking leading up to the shooting.

“He was frustrated. He was angry. He was hopeless. He was friendless,” Archibald told the jury.

Archibald said Wilson planned to kill himself. Wilson had a rash impulse and killed Brown.

District Judge Stevan Thompson | Katie Keleher, pool photo

“Instead of pointing the gun at himself he pointed it at Pat. That is what I mean by ‘rash impulse,'” Archibald said.

RELATED | Man accused of killing Challis woman said he intended to kill himself

He asked the jury to consider if Wilson was in any state of mind to premeditate killing Brown.

“Don’t feel sorry for Pat. Don’t feel sorry for Mark. You have to decide this based on the evidence,” he said.

Wilson’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 17. He will spend 10 years to life in prison.