Compher jury expected to be picked Wednesday - East Idaho News
Compher trial

Compher jury expected to be picked Wednesday

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POCATELLO — One-hundred-eighty-five jurors entered a reserved conference room inside the Idaho State University ICCU Bengal Alumni Center Tuesday morning. After eight hours, 56 were removed from consideration.

The Bannock County Jury Commission expects 14 jurors — including two alternates — to be selected following another half-day Wednesday.

Those 14 jurors will then be subjected to what is now planned to be a three-week trial as they decide on the guilt or innocence of 48-year-old Brad Compher.

Compher, who is charged with one count of murder with a deadly weapon enhancement, is accused of stabbing 25-year-old Nori Jones to death in her Pocatello home in 2004.

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According to the jury commission, in order to build a jury pool of 200, 600 Idahoans — from Bannock as well as surrounding counties — were contacted and questioned. Some of those prospective jurors were eliminated from consideration immediately, while others received questionnaires.

More were eliminated based on the answers they provided. After months of searching, the commission monitored as the final pool of 185 prospective jurors were questioned for eight hours Tuesday.

Following the full day of voir dire, 129 people left the ISU campus still in consideration for the final 14 spots.

District Judge Javier Gabiola, then prosecuting attorney Brian Trammell and defense attorney Scott Andrew asked a number of questions of the jury pool.

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They asked about the jurors’ understanding of evidence, their ability to follow instructions, their feelings about the criminal justice system law enforcement.

Andrew asked jurors how they handle issues in their personal lives when an eye witness to those issues is not available — there are no known eye witnesses to Jones’ murder.

Jurors were also asked if they knew any members of the defense or prosecution teams, or any of the numerous potential witnesses who could testify.

Gabiola read a complete list of those potential witnesses, which included members — or former members — of the Pocatello Police Department, friends and family of the Jones and Compher, and convicted murderers Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper.

Adamcik and Draper are each serving life sentences at the Idaho State Correctional Institution for the 2006 murder of Cassie Jo Stoddart and are expected to testify for the defense.

Bannock County Sheriff Tony Manu told EastIdahoNews.com that arranging the transportation and hold of convicted murders is a “difficult” task for a county jail. He said that his jail staff and facility will be taking special precautions for the hold, which hopes to be as short a time as possible.

During his allotted time, Andrew also asked jurors if they regularly watch television programs like “Forensic Files” — which explore criminal investigations. He asked if jurors believed DNA and scientific evidence to be “infallible.”

During recent hearings, Andrew has addressed a DNA specialist he may call to testify who, he believes, could challenge the validity of DNA findings that linked Compher to the murder.

Nori Jones (left) and her accused killer, Brad Compher
Nori Jones (left) and Brad Compher | Courtesy photo; Bannock County Jail

Following the selection, the case will be moved from the ISU campus back to the Bannock County Courthouse. From there, the prosecution and defense will offer opening statements before witnesses and evidence are presented.

EastIdahoNews.com will be in court throughout the trial posting live updates. Follow reporter Kalama Hines — here — for the latest.

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