Jury trial postponed for woman accused of causing deputy’s death
IDAHO FALLS — Defense attorneys for a woman accused of causing the death of a local deputy say they have new evidence as the jury trial was rescheduled.
Public defenders for 25-year-old Jenna Holm filed a motion on Aug. 18 to continue a jury trial previously scheduled to begin in September. On Monday, District Judge Dane Watkins agreed to push the trial back to Feb. 14 at the Bonneville County Courthouse.
“Defense was just made aware last week that important information, that has the potential to greatly help Jenna Holm in the presentation of her defense, is now for the first time available to her,” Defense Attorney Rocky Wixom wrote in the motion.
Holm is charged with involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault in connection to the May 18, 2020, death of Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputy Wyatt Maser. Maser was killed early that morning when he and other deputies responded to a car crash. Deputies encountered a distraught Holm wielding a machete on Bone Road east of Idaho Falls. When driving to the scene in his patrol SUV, Sheriff’s Sgt. Randy Flagel hit and killed Maser, who was holding Holm at gunpoint in the middle of the road.
Defense attorneys did not say what the new information is in support of Holm. Wixom said the information is exempt from disclosure to prosecutors based on it being part of attorney work product.
In support of Holm’s cause, Wixom also noted a case currently before the Idaho Supreme Court. The case involves a 2018 case where Alejandra Maria Ochoa was convicted of vehicular manslaughter after hitting and killing a motorcyclist while exiting a parking lot. The Gem State’s highest court heard an appeal on the case Thursday.
“The decision in the Ochoa case may have a substantial impact on the application of Idaho law as it relates to Jenna Holm’s trial,” Wixom wrote.
The Idaho Supreme Court has not yet issued a ruling.
Holm also has a Sept. 8 hearing after Public Defender Jordan Crane filed a motion this month to dismiss the voluntary manslaughter charge. In the motion to dismiss, Crane argues because prosecutors say Flegel did not break the law when hitting and killing Maser, the deputy’s death cannot be charged as manslaughter. Additionally, Idaho law also states that killing someone is excusable when it’s an accident and no one is breaking the law.