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Teens plead guilty to murdering 87-year-old Pocatello woman

Crime Watch

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Dustin Alfaro and Isaac Angel Rodriguez-Romero | Courtesy KPVI

POCATELLO — Two teenagers accused of killing an 87-year-old woman inside her home have reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Dustin Garrett Alfaro, 19, and Isaac Angel Rodriguez-Romero, 18, of Marysville, California, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Friday. Investigators say they killed Arlyne Koehler on March 19, 2019, during a home invasion.

Bannock County Prosecutor Stephen F. Herzog tells that as part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed felony charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and a felony enhancement for using a weapon during the commission of a crime.

In Oct. 2019, Alfaro vandalized the Bannock County Jail fire sprinkler system. The plea agreement drops a felony destruction of jail property charge against him but still requires Alfaro to pay for the damages.

The binding plea agreements require District Judge Robert Naftz to sentence Alfaro 22-years to life in prison and 27-years to life in prison for Rodriguez-Romero. If Naftz disagrees, the teens can withdraw their guilty pleas and take their chances at a jury trial.

Arlyne Koehler | Obituary photo

The plea agreements come after Naftz ordered the cases to go to mediation before another judge in August.

Both Alfaro and Rodriguez-Romero randomly planned to rob Koehler’s Pocatello home, according to court documents. During the robbery, Koehler was stabbed and the teens fled the bloody scene back to their home in California. Koehler’s family found her body inside the home.

After an extensive investigation, police were led to Alfaro and Rodriguez-Romero and the teens were arrested and extradited back to Idaho.

Both Alfaro and Rodriguez-Romero are scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 7 at the Bannock County Courthouse.