LIVE UPDATES | Day 3: Murder trial for Brad Compher, man accused of killing Nori Jones in 2004 - East Idaho News
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LIVE UPDATES | Day 3: Murder trial for Brad Compher, man accused of killing Nori Jones in 2004

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Day three of the trial for Brad Compher is underway in Bannock County. Compher is charged with one count of murder with a deadly weapon enhancement for the 2004 stabbing death of 25-year-old Nori Jones. reporter Kalama Hines is in the courtroom and will update this story with the latest developments all afternoon.

RELATED | LIVE UPDATES | Day 2: Murder trial for Brad Compher, man accused of killing Nori Jones in 2004

RELATED | LIVE UPDATES: Murder trial begins for Brad Compher, man accused of killing Nori Jones in 2004


3:07 p.m. Robbins is dismissed. Gabiola is calling it a day. We will be back at 10:45 a.m. Monday.

3:04 p.m. Robbins confirms, Compher’s prints were recorded by him at BCSO on Dec. 4, 2009. Robbins says the prints were then entered into a federal database.

3:02 p.m. After another delay, with defense and prosecution ironing out an issue of some kind, we are back with Price questioning Robbins.

2:51 p.m. Robbins started with BCSO 15 years ago as a detention deputy. He was in the booking area — where fingerprints were recorded.

2:51 p.m. State’s next witness is Edward Robbins, BCSO juvenile court resource officer.

2:49 p.m. Fry, in cross, confirms with Welch that their are reasons other than being booked into jail that someone would have their fingerprints recorded by BCSO deputies.

2:49 p.m. After BCSO collects prints, they are sent to ISP to be entered into the state database.

2:48 p.m. Welch identifies a fingerprint collection card brought to court by Rifelj as one he recorded on Jan. 7, 2007. They are prints belonging to Ralph Roy Compher — who is now known as Brad Scott Compher, the defendant.

2:45 p.m. Using the software BCSO uses in collecting fingerprints, Welch says deputies are not allowed to move on from one print to another without the current print be correctly collected.

2:45 p.m. As part of his duties with BCSO, Welch took fingerprints.

2:42 p.m. We’re back — break was a little long. State’s next witness is Lloyd Welch, a contract security guard. He was a Bannock County Sheriff’s deputy in 2004.

2:17 p.m. Rifelj agrees with Andrew that she cannot speak to what happens to evidence before it comes to her or while it is checked out to an officer. Andrew asks about detectives transporting the evidence to the state lab — Rifelj says she does not control that.
Afternoon recess. Back in 15

2:12 p.m. Andrew on cross asks Rifelj about the labeling process for evidence.

2:03 p.m. A lot of evidence being admitted. Rifelj is still unpacking evidence folders.

1:58 p.m. The ring has also made a couple trips to Boise — and to the private lab in 2014.

1:56 p.m. Now, a chain of custody for the ring. The ring is currently in the Pocatello PD evidence lockup.

1:53 p.m. The prosecution is now admitting a chain of custody for the sexual assault kit from the murder. The kit went to the state lab in October 2004 — it was returned to Pocatello PD two months later. It made a couple trips back to labs for testing — the last trip was to a private lab in 2014.
Of course, 2014 is when Compher was arrested and charged with Jones’ murder.

1:49 p.m. I have to say, every trial I cover I am in awe of the jury. They are just normal people, pulled from their everyday lives and forced to sit through days of evidence and testimony. Sure, there are some times when they seem to momentarily glaze over. But for the most part, they always seem to be fully engaged in the case. There are 14 people right now trying to steal little glimpses of the evidence at is accepted and admitted.

1:46 p.m. Rifelj is still removing evidence from previously sealed evidence envelopes. There are now photos, latent fingerprint lift cards and sample prints.

1:35 p.m. The State has now entered photos and latent print lift cards into evidence. They were removed from evidence folders in court today.

Compher day 3 Rifelj
Pocatello PD evidence tech Jamie Fielj testifies. | Kalama Hines,

Compher day 3 Rifelj2

1:21 p.m. The doc is a chain of custody for photographs and a latent fingerprint. Eighteen photographs in total.

1:19 p.m. Rifelj has produces a document. JaNiece Price, questioning prosecutor, has her confirm what the item is — it is a chain of custody document for other evidence.

1:17 p.m. Rifelj has brought with her some evidence from the murder.

1:11 p.m. We are back. State’s next witness is Jamie Rifelj, Pocatello PD evidence tech.

11:45 a.m. Gabiola has ordered a break for lunch. Back at 1.

11:41 a.m. Radford steps out of the courtroom and returns with a disc. Assuming there will be a video shown shortly — likely one taken by Busch.

11:40 a.m. On cross, Busch tells Andrew he does not recall who took possession of the ring after he found it on the ground. Says he believes everyone involved was wearing gloves.

11:38 a.m. Busch used a digital camera he purchased himself so that pictures could be viewed the same day. Anyone else remember the quality of pictures from 2004 digital cameras? They were not great, but we didn’t know that then.

11:37 a.m. Busch says investigators collected 13 latent fingerprints. They were sent to state lab after they were informed of an unofficial match on evidence from this case.

11:34 a.m. Busch says as Jones was being moved through the house, he heard metal on the floor. He found the engagement ring on the kitchen floor. Says he does not know where the ring fell from. He assumes it was transferred from the bedroom — but can only speculate.

11:32 a.m. Busch emotionally describes how he had to crawl into the bed and get Jones into a bodybag. He says that due to rigor mortis, he could not get her arm all the way into the bag.

11:31 a.m. Busch says the determination was made to get the entire department involved. Says they decided it was a very serious investigation.

11:27 a.m. Busch describes the scene. Says the blood on Jones’ leg appeared to him to have been smeared or wiped off. Says all the fingers on the left hand were curled up, except the ring finger, which was extended. He found that weird.

compher day 3 busch
Former Pocatello PD Anthony Busch | Kalama Hines,

11:25 a.m. We’re back. The state has called Anthony Busch, former Pocatello PD detective.

11:05 a.m. Sorry for not letting you know — we were on morning recess. We are back, outside the presence of the jury, Gabiola is admonishing the attorneys for late arrival. He says the jurors’ time is important and he wants to have any issues worked out before the jury gets here so they don’t have to wait.

10:40 a.m. Trammell asks if Brad Compher was present during the autopsy. Skoumal says he was not.

10:39 a.m. Redirect from Trammell. We’ll see what they set up.

10:38 a.m. Skoumal says he cannot determine if Jones was raped.

10:36 a.m. Skoumal says he does not change gloves when he moves from one body part to another while collecting foreign DNA. Layman’s point of view — this seems like something of an oversight.

10:33 a.m. Skoumal confirms that blood cells and sperm cells are microscopically different. I think we are getting into the question directives from defense’s expert.

10:31 a.m. For fingernail clippings: all nails from each hand are stored together — five clippings for the right hand kept together, five from the left kept together. Fry suggests that contaminants from one nail could affect results from exams of all nails from that hand.

10:27 a.m. Skoumal says not all assistant and officers in the room were wearing similar equipment — gloves, mask, suit. Fry says the officers get close enough to take pictures and thus could be introducing contaminants.

10:26 a.m. Fry now asking about potential contaminants. He is asking Skoumal about standard equipment worn during autopsy.

10:24 a.m. Skoumal cannot determine the specific type of weapon used in the attack. Fry lists a knife, scissors, box cutter, switchblade. Skoumal says he would not be able to rule any of those weapons out as the murder weapon.

10:22 a.m. Skoumla is not able to determine sequence of wounds. That is why he cannot determine the specific cause of death.

10:20 a.m. Skoumal uses text book learning as “part of” his determination of defensive wounds. Fry asks is defensive wounds can be found on the head or torso. Assumption is that someone would use their hands to fend off a knife attack, rather than their head or body.

10:18 a.m. Fry asks if there is any scientific way to identify wounds as “defensive wounds.” Skoumal says there is not, but his determination is based on years of experience and practice.

10:16 a.m. Fry on cross. He is asking about Skoumal surrendering his licensed. Skoumal says multiple times his license is no longer active but that he did not “surrender any license.”

10:15 a.m. Skoumal’s reported cause of death — “multiple cuts to the neck and stab wounds to the chest…” injuries to both sides of the neck, both lungs and the heart.

10:14 a.m. Skoumal’s autopsy report being admitted as evidence.

10:10 a.m. Skoumal says he oversaw the clipping of Jones’ fingernails and a sexual assault kit.

Compher day 3, Skoumal
Former forensic pathologist Steven Skoumal | Kalama Hines,

10:07 a.m. Skoumal says one of the wounds to Jones’ left hand would have completely immobilized it.

10:05 a.m. Skoumal now describing wounds he determined to be defensive wounds, on Jones’ arms and hands.

10:03 a.m. “In my opinion, each of these had the potential to be fatal.”

10:01 a.m. Two cuts to the neck — through underlying muscles, one seven inches long. Three of 17 stab wounds to the trunk — one to heart, four cups of blood in the left chest cavity. One in right lung — four cups of blood in right lung. One to the right lower chest — penetrated right lung.

9:59 a.m. Description of injuries and wounds — multiple stab wounds and cuts. A stab wound is deeper than it is wide, cuts are wider than they are deep.
stabs and cuts to head, neck, trunk and extremities.
Five of those wounds, Skoumal determined, were “potentially fatal.”

9:58 a.m. Skoumal says he performed an autopsy on Jones in October 2004.

9:56 a.m. Skoumal says the most basic description of his job is, to determine the cause of a death. For what it’s worth, my understanding is that they also determine manner.
Cause in this case would be the wound or wounds that led to Jones’ death. Manner would be homicide.

9:53 a.m. After extensive questioning about training and experience, State asks to have the court recognize Skoumal as an expert in forensic pathology. Fry objects to the title “forensic.” Gabiola overrules and grants State’s request.

9:43 a.m. State’s next witness is Steven Skoumal, who owned a private lab that conducted forensic autopsies. He was a licensed physician at the time but is no longer practicing. At the time of Jones’ death, Skoumal had been “involved” in around 1400 autopsies. Had done 250 personally.

9:40 a.m. Asked about efforts to avoid contaminating the scene, Quick says he wears Tyvek with booties, limits what he brings into the scene. Quick is released.

9:35 a.m. Fry’s questioning technique is very quick — no pun intended — and aggressive. Interested if this is intentional for this witness. I cannot recall covering another trial with her as a defense attorney for comparison.

9:32 a.m. Quick says he measured Jones’ wounds. Fry asks if that is standard, then cuts Quick off telling him it was a “yes” or “no” question. Fry then confirms Quick has no medical doctor education.

9:30 a.m. Quick says he “initially” rolled Jones’ body over to check. Fry asks what they did after they “initially” rolled her over in the bed. Quick says she was moved into a bodybag from there.

9:28 a.m. Fry handling cross. He is confirming Quick’s responsibilities as deputy coroner.

9:26 a.m. Things are going to get interesting, now that there are experts — of different levels — testifying to what was learned from Jones’ body. Andrew, Fry and Proctor are going to challenge most of what is said in testimony today. Bear with me on this one.

9:20 a.m. Quick describes what he believed to be the scene of a struggle. Fry objects, it is upheld — statement is stricken. Fry challenging almost every thing Quick is testifying to.

9:19 a.m. Quick says there were cuts and puncture wounds — including two to the neck. Trammell asked if Jones was deceased when he arrived. Quick says she was easily identified as postmortem.

9:18 a.m. Trammell asks Quick if he was dressed in a Tyvek suit with booties. He was. Quick is now describing the state of Jones’ body.
Good morning.

Compher day 3, Kim Quick
Former Bannock County Deputy Coroner Kim Quick | Kalama Hines,

9:07 a.m. State’s first witness today is Kim Quick, former Bannock County deputy coroner. He was in that position in 2004, when Jones was murdered.

9:07 a.m. We are on the record, outside the presence of the jury. Defense attorney Rilie Fry, making his first speaking appearance of the trial, is asking about what will be allowed on the record regarding some of the medical perts expected to testify today.