TWIN FALLS -- The attorney for a man accused of shooting another man to death at at Twin Falls motel has made motions for some documents in the case to be sealed so they are unavailable to the public.
William McGrath’s attorney, Twin Falls County Chief Public Defender Marilyn Paul, made the motion for the victim’s “entire remains,” including tissue, organs and fluid samples to be preserved “in a manner to allow testing.” The former Elko County resident is accused of murdering Charles Johnston last month at the Apollo Motor Inn.
The now-sealed documents include information on expert witness fees and expenses for forensic assistance. The content of an order to preserve victim Johnston’s remains was also ordered sealed.
“The coroner and other entities” are not authorized to “disclose the existence of this order to any form of the media,” the court order said.
McGrath, 22, was scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing on a first-degree murder charge. But Paul asked that the hearing be delayed until April 3.
Johnston, 34, of Winnemucca was in a bathtub when McGrath and another unidentified man barged in a shot him, police said.
In a preliminary hearing, prosecutors must show they have enough evidence to take the case to district court and eventually to trial.
Emmillie Dale Sarnirand, 43, of Jerome, is accused of hiding McGrath the day of the shooting. She is charged with harboring a wanted felon and two counts of being an accessory to a felony. She was also scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday. But her attorney, Brad Calbo, requested it be delayed until March 20. Sarnirand had been in jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond. Her bond was lowered to $25,000. If she posts bond, she must enroll in a court compliance program.
Crystal Elisabeth Turner, 30, turned herself in the day of the shooting, telling police she, McGrath and an unidentified Hispanic man had gone to the motel, 296 Addison Ave. W., earlier that day intending to rob Johnston, whom she suspected of recently inheriting money.
Turner is being held at the Twin Falls County Jail without bond on charges she aided and abetted in first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit robbery. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 13.