February 6, 1996 in City

New Trial Sought In Arrasmith Case

Associated Press
 

A lawyer for convicted double-murderer Kenneth Arrasmith filed for a new trial Monday, alleging that sheriff’s authorities mishandled evidence.

A report on the motion filed in 2nd District Court was carried Monday night by KHQ-TV.

Arrasmith is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 26 in the slayings of a Clarkston, Wash., couple shot last May at their Lewiston auto repair shop.

Arrasmith was convicted Nov. 22 of first-degree murder in the death of Luella Bingham and second-degree murder in Ronald Bingham’s death.

In his motion, defense lawyer Craig Mosman said he learned through interviews that Nez Perce County investigators removed a gun found at the repair shop after the slayings but failed to disclose it in court.

Investigators said during the trial that they had found no weapons at the scene.

In an unsigned affidavit Mosman filed in support of the motion, sheriff’s deputy Scott Whitcomb said he removed the gun without having it checked for fingerprints or to see if it had been recently fired.

The affidavit said Whitcomb gave the gun to his son, Cliff, who worked at the shop and owned the weapon.

In a second unsigned affidavit, Tony Adams, another worker at the shop, said the Binghams always carried weapons at the shop and that Ronald Bingham had been carrying a gun on the day of the shooting.

None of the information from Whitcomb and Adams came out in the trial, Mosman said.

Arrasmith testified that he acted in self-defense when he shot the Binghams and had been threatened by them. Arrasmith believed the Binghams had been sexually abusing his teenage daughter, Cynthia, and said he had gone to the repair shop to try to get them to confess.

Ronald Bingham was shot more than 20 times as he lay underneath a pickup truck and Luella Bingham was shot six times in the back as she tried to run away, prosecutors said.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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