Jury trial set for teenager accused of participating in killing of Pocatello grandmother
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POCATELLO — A jury trial has been set for one of the California teenagers accused of brutally killing a Pocatello grandmother.
On Thursday, District Judge Robert C. Naftz set a jury trial for Dustin Alfaro, 18, to begin on March 3, 2020. Alfaro and Isaac Rodriguez-Romero, 17, are charged with first-degree murder, felony conspiracy to commit murder and a felony weapons enhancement for their involvement in the March killing of 87-year-old Arlyne Koehler.
The jury trial is planned to run Tuesday through Friday for three weeks once the trial commences.
Several testified at a preliminary hearing in September of the “horrific” scene left following the killing. Witnesses who found Kohler dead described blood in the kitchen and dining room, followed by a blood trail out of the home and down the road, KPVI reported.
Bannock County Corner Eli Tyasom testified an autopsy conducted by a doctor in Boise showed Koehler died from stab wounds to the heart, spleen, liver and carotid artery.
In an interview transcript reviewed by KPVI between Alfaro, the Yuba County chief deputy district attorney and an investigator with the DA’s office, Alfaro told some of his side of the story. He reportedly admitted to breaking into the house through a back window while claiming Rodriguez-Romero stabbed Koehler to death.
Alfaro told detectives he and Rodriguez-Romero were in Rigby on March 19 visiting a friend. He reportedly got drunk and did “coke” before passing out in a car driven by the 17-year-old. When he woke up, the pair stopped in Pocatello.
In a seemingly random plan, “we at least gonna pull up to some house get into it before we go back to Cali,” Alfaro said to police, according to KPVI. The two decided to rob Koehlers home because there was no car in the driveway and lights were out. At some point during the robbery, Alfaro told police Rodriguez-Romero stabbed Koehler with a large kitchen knife.
The pair left Pocatello and drove back to California where they were arrested by law enforcement in Yuba County.
Rodriguez-Romero is scheduled for a status conference on Dec. 5, where a jury trial is likely to be scheduled for the teen being tried as an adult.