Brad Compher found guilty of murdering Nori Jones 20 years ago - East Idaho News

Brad Compher found guilty of murdering Nori Jones 20 years ago

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Brad Compher adjusts his tie shortly after the case was handed to the jury for deliberation. Compher is charged with first-degree murder for the 2004 stabbing death of Nori Jones. | Pool photo

POCATELLO — After less than four hours of deliberation, a jury found Brad Compher guilty of first-degree murder Monday afternoon. With the guilty verdict, the prosecution announced it will dismiss the deadly weapon enhancement.

Compher, 49, was found guilty of killing Nori Jones, a 25-year-old Pocatello native found stabbed to death in her home on the morning of Sept. 28, 2004. The jury determined that evidence proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, Compher killed Jones in the act of burglary, rape or both.

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Nori Jones, Courtesy Kellie Torgerson
Nori Jones | Courtesy Kellie Torgerson

Compher did not react as the verdict was read. However, shortly thereafter, District Judge Javier Gabiola explained the next step will be a pre-sentence investigation before Compher is sentenced. Gabiola asked if Compher understood, to which he responded, “I can’t even think right now.”

The courtroom remained calm as the verdict was read. One person commented loud enough for Compher to hear as he was leaving the courtroom, “I hope he rots in hell after he rots in jail.”

RELATED | Both sides rest in Jones-Compher murder trial; verdict could be reached as early as Monday

Compher was arrested in 2014 after advances in DNA analysis technology determined his DNA was at the scene. According to testimony from multiple forensic experts, Compher’s fingerprints were found on an exterior door at Jones’ home. Additional experts testified that Compher’s DNA was on a window investigators determined to the be entry point used by the murderer to gain access to the home, as well as Jones’ sexual assault examination and a ring she was wearing at the time of the murder.

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Brad Compher led out of the courtroom by court marshals. | Kalama Hines,

The prosecution called numerous witnesses over the course of six days. Those witnesses testified to Jones’ personality, some of the incidents that occurred in the days prior to the murder, evidence collected from the scene, how that evidence was maintained and finally how it was tested and the results of those tests.

The defense took over Thursday. After calling their first witness around 10 a.m., the defense rested at 2:52 p.m. the same day.

During closing arguments Monday, defense attorney Gary Proctor argued the prosecution had not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. He presented Robert Spillett as a possible murderer.

Spillett, Proctor said, had an infatuation with Jones — one that led to Jones being afraid of him. Proctor also spoke about a dream Spillett told investigators about in which he described the murder scene — matching some details of the scene.

Prosecuting attorney Johnathan Radford said demonstratively that the defense had not presented a single piece of evidence that tied Spillett to the murder scene. Radford also broke down the many inconsistencies Spillett offered when describing the murder scene he saw in his dream — and portions of the dream that changed between tellings of it.

Following closing arguments, the jury was given the case at 11 a.m. and began deliberations.

The verdict was read at 3:22 p.m. Monday.

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Compher is comforted by his defense attorneys as the verdict is read.

Compher is scheduled for a sentencing hearing on April 30. During that hearing, Jones’ loved ones — who agreed prior to the trial not to comment about the verdict — will provide victim impact statements that District Judge Javier Gabiola will consider before handing down a sentence.

With the death penalty taken off the table in 2022 over concerns about Compher’s mental stability, the maximum sentence Gabiola will be allowed to consider is life in prison.