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Crime-and-courts
5th District Court News

TWIN FALLS COUNTY

FELONY SENTENCINGS

Nathan Ray Torres, 25, Twin Falls; assault or battery upon certain personnel, $245.50 costs, restitution when added within 30 days, five years penitentiary, three determinate, two indeterminate, 230 days credited.

Pebbles Picabo Lindsey, 23, Twin Falls; criminal possession of a financial transaction card, $245.50 costs, $500 public defender, $500 fine, five years penitentiary, three determinate, two indeterminate, 154 days credited, 365 days retained jurisdiction, sentence to run concurrent to 2013 case.

Russell Alan Porter, 30, Twin Falls; possession of a controlled substance, $285.50 costs, seven years penitentiary, two and a half years determinate, four and a half years indeterminate, sentence to run concurrent to 2013 case.

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE SENTENCINGS

Cole Paul Brown, 23, Eden; driving under the influence — excessive, $1,000 fine, $600 suspended, $202.50 costs, $75 public defender, $100 DNA, state has 30 days to post restitution, 180 days jail, balance suspended, 26 days credited, 10 days discretionary, 365 days drivers license suspension, 24 months supervised probation, attend victim impact panel and attend court alcohol school.

Cameron Xavior Ramos, 21, Fielding, Utah; driving under the influence — under 21, $500 fine, $300 suspended, $202.50 costs, $75 public defender, guilty withheld sentence, 12 hours community service, 90 days drivers license suspension, 12 months probation with six months to be supervised attend victim impact panel and court alcohol school.

Cameron Reed Baker, 29, Burley; driving under the influence, $500 fine, $300 suspended, $202.50 costs, 180 days jail, 177 suspended, one day credited, 10 days discretionary, 16 hours work detail, 12 months supervised probation, 90 days restricted drivers license, attend victim impact panel and court alcohol school.

DIVORCE CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

Meaghan Tucker v. Joshua Tucker

Allen Cummins v. Shawna Pack-Cummins

Carl Dabbs v. Lahoma Dabbs

Tawnya Jerke v. Blaine Jerke

Jacqueline MacMillan v. Timothy MacMillan

Rick Koch v. Delmarie Koch


News
AP EXPLAINS
AP Explains: Bergdahl judge weighed complex leniency factors

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s brutal five years of captivity by Taliban allies carried significant weight in an Army judge’s decision to spare him prison time for leaving his post in Afghanistan in 2009, legal experts said. Criticism of Bergdahl by President Donald Trump also appeared to push the judge toward leniency.

Army Col. Jeffery Nance didn’t explain how he formulated the sentence that also included a dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank and a fine. But the judge had to consider a complex array of arguments for and against leniency.

Prosecutors asked for a 14-year prison sentence, citing several service members’ serious wounds while searching for Bergdahl. The defense sought to mitigate the punishment with evidence of Bergdahl’s captivity, mental illnesses, contrition and Trump’s harsh criticism.

“It’s really rare for there to be this much mitigation evidence,” said Eric Carpenter, a former Army lawyer who teaches law at Florida International University. “It’s kind of hard to distinguish which is the one that Nance gave the most weight to. But I think the Taliban conditions were pretty onerous.”

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HOW DID BERGDAHL’S CAPTIVITY FACTOR IN?

Former Air Force lawyer Rachel VanLandingham noted that Bergdahl’s captivity was twice cited by officers in early investigations as a reason not to send him to prison. The officer who oversaw Bergdahl’s 2015 Article 32 hearing, which serves a similar purpose to a civilian grand jury process, wrote imprisonment wasn’t necessary largely due to “atrocities” against Bergdahl, though he noted he didn’t have evidence of casualties on search missions.

“The high level folks who have looked at this said: ‘We just don’t think confinement is appropriate because of the amount of torture he suffered,’” said VanLandingham, who teaches at Southwestern Law School in California.

During sentencing, Bergdahl described beatings and torture by his captors with copper wire and unending bouts of illness brought on by squalid conditions. After several escape attempts, he was placed in a cage for four years.

Greg Rinckey, a former Army lawyer now in private practice, said he believes the “brutal conditions” and their duration were the most significant of the mitigating factors.

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WHAT EFFECTS DID TRUMP’S COMMENTS HAVE?

In campaign speeches, Trump frequently criticized Bergdahl, calling him a “dirty, rotten traitor.” Nance rejected defense motions that charges should be dismissed or punishment limited because Trump was exerting unlawful command influence. But Nance indicated he would consider Trump’s comments a factor promoting leniency.

“Trump helped take that confinement off the table,” VanLandingham said.

Now, Trump’s condemnation of the lack of prison time on Twitter on Friday could give the defense lawyers a strong hand to get the sentence reduced further by an appeals court, the legal experts say. A dishonorable discharge triggers an automatic appeal to a higher military court.

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HOW IMPORTANT WERE BERGDAHL’S MENTAL HEALTH AND REMORSE?

Nance also likely factored in Bergdahl’s willingness to take responsibility by pleading guilty, his emotional apology in court, and his mental health issues, the experts said. Bergdahl choked up Monday as he apologized to the wounded searchers in court.

Bergdahl and his lawyers offered evidence of two mental disorders as mitigating factors. A psychiatrist testified Bergdahl was influenced by a schizophrenia-like condition called schizotypal personality disorder that made it hard to understand consequences of his actions, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder after a difficult childhood.

Bergdahl’s escape attempts and valuable information he provided intelligence officers also helped, VanLandingham said.

“You have a mentally ill individual who served five years honorably in captivity. He genuinely showed remorse. And I think those things came across loud and clear,” VanLandingham said.

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DID THOSE FACTORS OUTWEIGH WOUNDS TO BERGDAHL SEARCHERS?

Nance had to weigh the leniency factors against prosecution evidence of several service members wounded on search missions. Before sentencing, Nance ruled those troops wouldn’t have wound up in separate firefights if they weren’t looking for Bergdahl.

Prosecutors cited a soldier whose hand was shattered by a rocket-propelled grenade and another who suffered a head wound that put him in a wheelchair and rendered him unable to speak. A Navy SEAL suffered a career-ending leg wound on another search.

Carpenter described the wounds as “very compelling” evidence against Bergdahl, but he said Nance likely recognized the searches involved events beyond Bergdahl’s control.

“Because there were so many other factors between Bergdahl’s actions and those injuries, the weight of the evidence went down,” Carpenter said.


Ap
Idaho jury votes for death penalty after officer killed

COEUR D’ALENE (AP) — A jury has unanimously decided that a 29-year-old man who shot and killed a northern Idaho police officer should be sentenced to death.

The 12-member panel reached the decision Saturday morning.

The same jury last month found Jonathan Renfro guilty of first-degree murder for the May 2015 killing of Coeur d’Alene Police Sgt. Greg Moore. He was also found guilty of robbery, removing a firearm from a police officer and concealment of evidence.

The mitigation phase of the trial began Monday and concluded Friday afternoon with defense attorneys arguing why Renfro shouldn’t get the death penalty. The jury was sequestered while reaching its decision.

During the trial, jurors watched a video of the shooting recorded by Moore’s body camera. Moore was checking on a suspicious person while patrolling a neighborhood when he was gunned down, court documents say. He died later that evening.

“Renfro is observed shooting Sgt. Moore,” a detective wrote in an affidavit that describes images from the camera worn by Moore. “After being shot, Sgt. Moore falls to the ground, causing his body camera to point skyward. A short time later, Renfro’s face comes back into the frame. Renfro is seen using a flashlight while searching Sgt. Moore’s person.”

Later, authorities said, an officer from nearby Post Falls, Idaho who was listening to radio traffic about the shooting, saw a Coeur d’Alene police car race by at about 90 mph, so he gave chase close to the Washington state line.

The officer found the patrol car abandoned, and the Washington State Patrol and Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office helped set up a perimeter. A police dog found Renfro about two hours later hiding under a tractor-trailer.

Renfro has a long criminal record and was on probation at the time of the shooting. During the trial, prosecutors said Renfro feared going back to jail if Moore discovered that he was illegally carrying a firearm. So Renfro used the firearm to kill Moore, they said.

Renfro’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Monday in 1st District Court.

Moore, the son of a police officer, was a husband and father of two and a 16-year veteran of the city police department. He began his career as a deputy sheriff in Asotin County, Washington, in late 1997 and started in Coeur d’Alene in 1999.


Local
Stork report: births at St. Luke’s Magic Valley

St. Luke’s Magic Valley

Emilee Maria Dinis, daughter of Janell Lynn and Steve Adriano Dinis of Wendell, was born Oct. 23, 2017.

Gael Antuan Luna Lopez, son of Tania Jael Lopez and Antonio Esteban Luna of Buhl, was born Oct. 25, 2017.

Katherine Lizeth Garcia, daughter of Monica Elizabeth and Ramon Alberto Garcia of Twin Falls, was born Oct. 25, 2017.

Leeland Finn Massie, son of Hailey Chantele and Cole Alexander Massie of Filer, was born Oct. 25, 2017.

Oliver Ray McEwan, son of Shannon and Shane Owen McEwan of Twin Falls, was born Oct. 26, 2017.

Zoe Elayne Barker, daughter of Lauren Michelle Barker and Gene Robert Barker III of Kimberly, was born Oct. 26, 2017.

Olivia Ann Briten, daughter of Kristen Ann and Benjamin Thomas Briten of Twin Falls, was born Oct. 26, 2017.

Josiah David Soria, son of Merary Soria and David Fernando Soria of Wendell, was born Oct. 27, 2017.

Brock Sage Barfuss, son of Erin Nicole and Jacob Brock Barfuss of Twin Falls, was born Oct. 27, 2017.

Levi Allen Wilkinson, son of Krystal Michelle and Nathan Allen Wilkinson of Wells, Nev., was born Oct. 27, 2017.

Hadiah Rasool, daughter of Nadia Fnu and Mohammad Rasool of Twin Falls, was born Oct. 28, 2017.

Augustus Avery Deuel, son of Donna Joe Deuel and Austin Cade Deuel of Buhl, was born Oct. 29, 2017

Leonardo Joseph Velis, son of Asia Alyse Eboli and Dylan Joseph Velis of Jackpot, Nev., was born Oct. 29, 2017.

Easton Adrian Ramirez, son of Andrea Dallas Ramirez of Burley, was born Oct. 29, 2017.

Knox Christian Lee, son of Karen Victor Lee and Sage Neal Lee of Twin Falls, was born Oct. 30, 2017.

Dakota Rose Palmer, daughter of Tabatha Lynnmarie and Charles Wayne Palmer of Eden, was born Oct. 31, 2017.


Community
Instant Pot class taught by Minidoka Extension educator

RUPERT — Due to high demand, more Instant Pot pressure cooker classes have been added by the Minidoka Extension Office in Rupert.

The Thursday, Nov. 16 class from 5:30-7:30 p.m. is full; the Thursday, November 30 class from 5:30-7:30 p.m. is full but 10 spots remain for the Thursday, Dec. 7 class from 6-8 p.m.

University of Idaho Extension educator Becky Hutchings will be the instructor. Recipes to be made in class include Instant Pot Lemon Butter Chicken, Brown Rice in an Instant Pot and Instant Pot New York Cheesecake.

Cost is $10 and bring an apron. Register by calling the Extension Office, 85 E Baseline Rd, Rupert, at 208-436-7184.


Crime-and-courts
Twin Falls County Most Wanted

Name: Sonya Anne Rebecka Livingston AKA Sonya Scott

Date of birth: March 31, 1986

Sex: Female

Height: Five feet, four inches

Weight: 112 pounds

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Hazel

Race: White

Wanted for: Failure to appear on the original charges of battery on certain personnel, possession of a controlled substance.

Bond: $500,000


Print-specific
Streamflows

Average daily flows

Snake River at Heise 3,558 cfs

Snake River at Blackfoot 5,042 cfs

Snake River at American Falls 2,135 cfs

Snake River at Minidoka 2,273 cfs

Snake River at Milner 1,710 cfs

Little Wood River near Carey 2 cfs

Jackson Lake is 76 percent full.

Palisades Reservoir is 95 percent full.

American Falls Reservoir is 74 percent full.

Upper Snake River system is at 81 percent capacity.

As of Nov. 20.


Kootenai County Sheriff via AP 

Renfro