LIVE UPDATES: Murder trial begins for Brad Compher, man accused of killing Nori Jones in 2004 - East Idaho News
Crime Watch

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

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A jury has been selected, and 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.


4:47 p.m. Gabiola calls it for the day. Trial will pick up tomorrow at 9 a.m.

4:47 p.m. Coffin, who does not recall specifics of what was going on around the murder, is allowed to leave but is subject to recall — per Proctor’s request.

4:40 p.m. Coffin says he was approached by two people — Mayfield and Heisler — who said Jones was not at work. He unlocked the door for them and recalls seeing a blood spot about the size of a baseball near the doorknob.

4:35 p.m. State’s third witness: Kevin Coffin, Jones’ landlord. Trammell questioning.

4:25 p.m. Proctor asks about statements made by Mayfield to detectives regarding a man that caused concern. Proctor said this mad brought Jones gifts. Mayfield does not recall.

4:24 p.m. Defense pro hac vice co-council Gary Proctor will cross.

4:22 p.m. Mayfield describes finding Jones — saw a “silhouette” of a body and recognizing it to be Jones.

4:20 p.m. Mayfield describes going to Jones’ home the morning of Sept. 28, 2004 — with Heisler.

4:16 p.m. Trammell is questioning Mayfield. Attorneys have agreed upon a one attorney-per-witness rule.

4:16 p.m. State’s third witness: Mark Mayfield, Jones and Heisler’s supervisor at the Dept. of Labor.

4:14 p.m. Cross is complete. No redirect.

4:12 p.m. Andrew asks Heisler if she knew of anything of value inside Jones house prior to her murder. She lists a bunch of electronics, a purse and jewelry. Andrew then asks is anything was gone when she found Jones’ body — she says the TV was where it belonged.

4 p.m. Heisler said she helped Jones wedding dress shopping. Reo said he and Jones never formally discussed a marriage.

3:58 p.m. No description of the person Jones believed was following her – about a year before the murder. The car is only described as being “dark-colored.”

3:55 p.m. Spillett, Heisler says, continued coming back to the job service after the ring, but not as often.

3:54 p.m. Heisler says Jones told Spillett about the ring, and informed him she had recently gotten engaged. This happened “a few months before” Jones’ murder.

3:51 p.m. Heisler says Jones bought the expensive ring about six months before her death. The cheaper one a year before that.

3:51 p.m. Andrew asks about “people of a concern” who came into the building. Heisler said there was one man who only talked with Jones — refused to speak with anyone else. That was Richard Spillett. Heisler said Spillett made her concerned for Jones’ safety.

3:48 p.m. After a 15-minute recess, we’re back with defense attorney Scott Andrew cross-examining Heisler.

3:30 p.m. Heisler told police about Jones’ concerns someone was following her to and from work.

3:28 p.m. EMTs carried medical bags into the home. Heisler said they were inside for a matter of seconds before leaving.

3:26 p.m. Heisler told 911 operator Jones was not breathing and did not appear to be alive.

3:25 p.m. Heisler recalls the positioning of Jones’ body. She is fighting back tears describing the scene. “Too much blood” to see her face.

3:23 p.m. Heisler says there were things about the bedroom that were not normal — things from the dresser on the floor, mattress and window drapes “wrong.”

3:21 p.m. Heisler and her supervisor got access to the inside of Jones’ home. Heisler got to the doorway of Jones’ bedroom and saw her lying on the bed. Heisler says she was four or five feet from Jones — “I knew what she looked like. I knew it was her.”

Nori Jones (left) and her accused killer, Brad Compher
Nori Jones, left, and the man accused of killing her, Brad Compher

3:18 p.m. Heisler describing how she walked around the perimeter of Jones’ home searching for Jones.

3:16 p.m. When Heisler realized Jones was not at work that morning, she asked co-workers then Leta Wilde if they knew where she was. No one was sure.

3:15 p.m. Price now asking about the morning Heisler found Jones dead inside her home.

3:13 p.m. to the best of Heisler’s knowledge, Jones kept her doors locked at night.

3:12 p.m. Heisler says Jones normally slept in night gowns, but says Jones would occasionally sleep in the nude — when it was a warm night. She was found in the nude. Wilde said earlier that he recalled Sept. 27, 2004 being a cool night as he was preparing for a hunting trip.

3:09 p.m. Heisler calls Jones a “meticulous cleaner” who kept everything in order and in its place.

3:08 p.m. Heisler believes her relationship with Wilde was exclusive — “Nori was very, very much in love with him.”
Because I assume it is where the prosecution team is going — Wilde said he believes he was Jones’ first sexual partner.

3:05 p.m. This engagement ring is the hot topic today. Price, questioning Heisler, is asking about the ring Heisler says cost $9.99. She bought a more expensive ring after things with Wilde got more serious, Heisler says.

2:59 p.m. Heisler, crying, described Jones as “a giant bubble.” Says she was open and friendly to all — “very loving.”

2:57 p.m. Heisler still works with the Department of Labor.

2:55 p.m. Prosecution calling its next witness — Jones’ friend and co-worker, Jennifer Heisler.

2:51 p.m. One of the jurors has had her eyes glued on Compher and the defense table for the last hour.

2:48 p.m. Wilde says the engagement ring was the most expensive thing in Jones’ home.

2:47 p.m. Wilde says “it had been a little while” between Jones purchasing the ring and her death. Says she had been bothered by men she met at work — she worked for a job agency that helped people, including convicted criminals, find work.

2:45 p.m. Andrew asks if Jones ever took the ring off. Wilde says he does not believe she ever took it off — she spent a lot of money on it and did not want to lose it.

2:41 p.m. Andrew asks about the size of Jones’ home and how well “kept up” it was.

2:40 p.m. Andrew remains seated at the defense table while cross-examining Wilde.

2:38 p.m. Jones never mentioned the name Brad Compher to Wilde — or his previous legal name, Ralph Compher. Says he never heard a lot of names, but did say she had voiced concerns about guys from her work.

2:37 p.m. Officers searched Wilde’s home shortly after he learned of Jones’ death. He provided DNA the same day and was photographed — “it was not a fun experience.”

2:36 p.m. Wilde received a call from his mother — Leta Wilde — the morning of Sept. 28, 2004, informing him Jones was “gone.”

2:35 p.m. Jones had a headache, so she went home after the game.

2:34 p.m. Jones and Wilde watched the Monday Night Football game the night of her death. For those interested, Dallas beat Washington that night — 21-18.

2:33 p.m. Wilde again says he spent “every day” with Jones, including the day before she was found dead.

2:27 p.m. Wilde identifies a photo of the ring Jones wore “every day.”

2:25 p.m. Wilde speaks about a ring — likely the one brought up by Andrew — Jones wore on her left ring finger.

2:23 p.m. Wilde said Jones spoke about guys who would “bother her” at her work. They would bother her and refused to leave her alone.

2:22 p.m. Prosecuting attorney JaNiece Price now questioning Wilde about 2004 and Jones’ job at the time.

2:20 p.m. Wilde says he and Jones “were always together.”

2:16 p.m. Wilde and Jones “spent a lot of time together.” “They were really good friends” before they began dating.

2:15 p.m. Wilde describes how he met Jones — some time in the 90s.

2:12 p.m. Reo Wilde is the first to testify. He was engaged to Jones at the time of her death.

2:11 p.m. Andrew says there is no motive for Compher to have killed Jones. Says there are motives for other people to have killed her. He asks the jury to listen to the evidence.

2:08 p.m. He adds that there is no evidence supporting the claims there was a rape or burglary. Andrew notes a ring Jones was known to be wearing at all times.

2:07 p.m. Defense attorney Scott Andrew says in his opening that Nori Jones did die a violent death.

2:04 p.m. DNA also found on Jones’ body, Trammell says.

2:03 p.m. Compher’s DNA profile found on a cigarette butt found at the scene, Trammell said. There was other forensic evidence found at the scene, he adds. One-in-93 trillion odds the DNA belonged to someone other than Compher, he said.

2:01 p.m. “Multiple stab wounds” — including stabs and cuts, were found during Jones’ autopsy. There were also “defensive-type” injuries. Cause of death determined to be stabs and cuts to the chest and neck.

1:59 p.m. Prosecuting attorney Brian Trammell giving opening statements. He explains that, when Jones did not show up for work the morning of Sept. 28, 2004, coworkers entered her home searching for her.

1:48 p.m. Now Gabiola explains the meaning of “reasonable doubt,” saying that if the jury has any reasonable doubt regarding Compher’s guilt, they must find him not guilty.

1:48 p.m. Gabiola notes that the murder was committed in the commission of, or intended commission of robbery and or rape.

1:46 p.m. The jury is now seated and receiving instruction from Judge Gabiola.

1:42 p.m. Prosecution has informed Judge Javier Gabiola that it intends to call several witnesses today. Among them, Reo Wilde, Jones’ fiancee.

1:41 p.m. For those interested, Compher is wearing a plaid button-up shirt, jeans and black Vans-looking shoes.

1:39 p.m. Some housekeeping regarding motions. Compher’s mental health has been stricken from any evidence.

1:36 p.m. Compher and attorneys from both sides are seated. We are waiting for the arrival of the jury.
The jury is made up of nine men and five women.