Brad Compher Murders Nori Jones

Brad Compher

Brad Compher is a convicted killer from Idaho who murdered Nori Jones back in 2004

According to court documents Brad Compher would stab to death Nori Jones inside of her home in September 2004. Compher who met Nori Jones on a chance meeting would break into her home in order to steal her engagement ring or to sexually assault her

The murder case would go cold and the family of Nori Jones would have to wait until the advancements in DNA testing would finally lead to the arrest of Brad Compher

Brad Compher would be convicted and will be sentenced later this year

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Brad Compher Case

After nearly 20 years, the family of Nori Jones received justice Monday when Brad Scott Compher was convicted of felony first-degree murder for stabbing the 25-year-old to death inside her Pole Line Road home in September 2004.

It took just four hours for the 12-person jury, which included eight men and four women, to find Compher, 49, of Pocatello, guilty of killing Jones. His trial lasted 10 days, including a combined two and a half days that were spent selecting a jury and providing them with instructions as to handle the case.

Compher opted against taking the stand in his own defense. Throughout the trial he appeared impassive, raising his eyebrows a few times and occasionally looking up to a large television from which various pieces of evidence were shown. Compher appeared to be taking his own notes, folding a piece of legal paper into a square and placing it in his shirt pocket during breaks and recesses.

Proceedings began Monday with the closing statement from Bannock County Assistant Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jonathan Radford. The rest of the prosecution team included Bannock County Chief Civil Deputy Brian Trammell and JaNiece Price, the homicide and narcotics specialist for the prosecutor’s office.

Radford began by asking jurors not to overthink the evidence and to “rely on your common sense,” when determining whether or not there was any reasonable doubt that Compher killed Jones.

He compared the case to a Monet painting, stating, “You don’t just consider one piece of evidence in isolation, you look at the entire thing. When you consider all of the evidence together, that is when you get the full picture.”

Radford said that this case was charged as felony murder because Compher killed Jones while in the act of committing a burglary or rape, noting that a burglary only means that he broke into Jones’ home with the intent to commit a serious felony crime.

It was during an interaction at the Idaho Department of Labor or a visit to Jones’ home to assist the brother of Jones’ landlord in moving some lumber that Compher first made contact with Jones, Radford said, adding that it was after one of those encounters that he hatched a plan to steal an engagement ring from her or to rape her.

Radford said Compher gained entrance to the home through a back window, one that left a palm print that, although it couldn’t be matched to Compher’s palm print, was something that was DNA tested, which revealed that there was less than one in 93 trillion chance that the DNA matched anyone but Compher.

Radford also spoke about how Compher’s DNA was located on a ring that was seemingly removed from Jones’ hand after rigor mortis had set in considering Jones’ left hand was found to be in an awkward position with her ring finger extended.

Speaking to the evidence that showed Compher’s DNA profile was located underneath the fingernails of Jones’ right hand, Radford showed the jury a picture of a significantly deep stab wound to her left hand and pointed to the previous testimony of the forensic pathologist who conducted her autopsy who said such an injury could have made her left hand inoperable.

“Don’t get bamboozled,” Radford said.

Radford also spoke about how Y-STR testing found that “it would be reasonable to assume” that Compher’s DNA profile was found on both vaginal and anal swabs that were taken from Jones’ body as part of a sexual assault kit being administered during her autopsy. He said Jones’ body was found in “a sexually vulnerable position.”

Radford finished his closing statements by telling the jury that Compher told investigators twice that he had never been to Jones’ home or met her as a means of covering up what he did at her house in 2004. He said that the jury would find that he murdered Jones while attempting to rape her and that they would find sufficient evidence to convict him of felony first-degree murder.

Compher’s defense team included Chief Deputy John Scott Andrew of the Bannock County Public Defender’s Office, contracted attorney Gary Edward Proctor of Baltimore and Bannock County Deputy Public Defender Rilie Fry.

It was Proctor who delivered closing statements in the case Monday, beginning by explaining that it was his honor to represent Compher.

Proctor reminded the jury that what he says and the previous statements from Radford are not considered evidence and that “what matters in this case is your recollection.”

Proctor said it’s reasonable to assume that Compher left his DNA on a palm print on the back window when he went to Jones’ home prior to the murder with her landlord’s brother.

The notion that Jones’ injuries suggest she fought back against her attacker and previous testimony from investigators that Compher was observed with scars on his arms years after the incident should mean that some of Compher’s DNA should have been found in the house, Proctor argued.

Fingerprints that were matched to Compher on the rear door of the home could have been left when he exited the home after getting a glass of water, Proctor said.

Proctor also argued that it was possible that the many detectives and investigators who processed the crime scene at Jones’ home could have cross-contaminated evidence, mentioning that at one point the Pocatello Police Department marked the sexual assault kit as having been destroyed even though it was not.

Proctor also pointed to several items that were listed as being taken from the home but were never sent off for additional testing, including the bed sheets and comforter from her room, hairs taken from under Jones’ fingernails and cigarette butts found outside the home.

Turning the jury’s attention to a different potential suspect, Robert Spillett, was a major component of Proctor’s closing remarks

He said it was “not our job” to prove that Spillett murdered Jones but if the jury began to deliberate with any inclination that Spillett might have been involved “then you have a doubt that (Compher) was involved.”

Proctor mentioned that Jones’ neighbor witnessed a man with sandy blonde hair exit a white maintenance truck and tamper with the only exterior light at Jones’ home three or four days before she was killed. Testimony during the trial revealed that Spillett had blonde hair at the time of her death and that he drove a white truck with a flatbed.

Proctor also mentioned that a phonebook with Jones’ current address and phone number was found in Spillett’s home and that Spillett made Jones so uncomfortable when visiting her at her workplace that she felt it necessary to purchase a fake engagement ring and hide in the bathroom when he came in.

The final aspect of Proctor’s closing remarks had jurors focus on the testimony about a dream Spillett had in which he described elements of the crime scene — that Jones’ sheets were blue, that she had green on her walls, and that she was found nude with cuts on her legs.

Proctor made it a point to note that Spillett described the dream as depicting a “brutal” scene of Jones’ killing, adding that Spillett told investigators that it was like an out-of-body experience.

“It was an in-body experience,” Proctor said. “He said these things because he was there because he knew them to be true.”

Proctor ended his closing statements by asking the jury to remember this trial and to be able to talk to their friends about how they were able to send Compher home.

Ultimately, however, the jury felt that sending Compher home would have been a mistake.

The guilty verdict was delivered around 3:30 p.m. Monday with a packed gallery in the Bannock County courtroom of 6th District Judge Javier Gabiola. After which, Compher was handcuffed and escorted out with an entourage of court marshals and sheriff’s deputies.

Several members of the gallery could be heard crying as the verdict was read. Proctor could be seen embracing Compher in a hug after the verdict was read.

Because of the guilty verdict on the first-degree murder charge, prosecutors withdrew a weapons enhancement that Compher faced for using a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony crime.

Gabiola offered Compher a chance to speak about the guilty verdict, to which Compher said, “I can’t really talk right now.”

Compher was then remanded back into the custody of the Bannock County Jail in Pocatello where he will remain incarcerated until April 30 when he appears back in front of Gabiola to receive a sentence that at maximum will keep him behind bars for the remainder of his life.

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