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Man who changes his mind about guilt in killing friend facing first-degree murder

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — A judge determined prosecutors had enough probable cause to send a local man to District court on a first-degree murder charge.

Marshall Dee Hendricks, 31, appeared in a Bonneville County Courthouse Wednesday for a preliminary hearing on the upgraded charge in the 2019 shooting death of Rory Neddo. Hendricks had initially pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for killing his friend, but after withdrawing his guilty plea in June, prosecutors opted to charge Hendricks with first-degree murder.

With the case advancing to District Court, Hendricks is expected to appear for an arraignment on Dec. 14 before District Judge Dane H. Watkins Jr. where he will enter a plea. Hendricks will likely plead not guilty as defense attorney Allen Browning says the case “screams out self-defense.”

RELATED | Defense says evidence ‘screams out self-defense’ as man withdraws guilty plea for killing friend

Neddo reportedly became upset at Hendricks over a sexual relationship Hendricks had with Neddo’s ex-girlfriend. While at a friend’s house, Hendricks claimed Neddo came over making threats and acting aggressively. At one point, Neddo is said to have threatened that Hendricks would never speak again.

Prosecutors disagree with the self-defense angle, saying Hendricks invited Neddo to the Bonneville County home for a fight. At the change of plea hearing, Bonneville County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Russell Spencer called the case is as much a first-degree murder case as it is manslaughter with Hendricks bringing a gun to what could have been a fistfight.

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The case also took an interesting turn with the woman Neddo and Hendricks were fighting over now being married to Hendricks. The woman submitted a document waiving spousal privilege in the case that would have potentially allowed her to not take the witness stand.

RELATED | Shooting victim intended to fight suspected shooter, according to court documents

In addition to first-degree murder, Hendricks is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and use of a deadly weapon sentencing enhancement.

First-degree murder in Idaho faces a maximum sentence of death, but prosecutors have not issued their intent to seek or not seek capital punishment in the case.

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