August 3, 2009

Man admits to killing former classmate in Moscow

Delling pleaded guilty in May to slaying BSU student
Associated Press
 

MOSCOW — A 23-year-old man convicted of slaying a Boise State University student pleaded guilty Monday to killing a former high school classmate during an erratic, 6,500-mile road trip across the West.

John Delling pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in David Boss’ March 2007 death in Moscow, according to an Ada County court clerk for Judge Deborah Bail.

The murder case had been transferred from Latah County to Ada County, where Delling pleaded guilty earlier this year to second-degree murder in the death of Bradley Morse.

John Delling was 21 when authorities arrested him for killing Boss and Morse, both of Idaho, and linked him to the wounding of a third man, Jacob Thompson, who was shot in Arizona.

Delling, Boss and Thompson were all former classmates at Timberline High School in Boise. Police say Delling met Morse, who attended high school in nearby Meridian, on a gaming Web site and then used the Internet to track him down. Morse was a student at Boise State when he died.

In exchange for Delling’s guilty plea, prosecutors reduced the original charge of first-degree murder in Morse’s death and agreed to drop a charge of theft and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Delling also reached a plea agreement in the case against him in Latah County, where he was charged with first-degree murder in Boss’ death.

Delling has not been charged in the Arizona shooting.

Jacob Thompson, who was shot in the face outside his Tucson apartment, testified in the Ada County case.

According to police, Thompson was shot March 20, 2007, in Tucson, Boss was killed March 31 in Moscow and Morse died April 2 outside of Boise. Delling was arrested in Sparks, Nev., the next day.

The Boise case was postponed twice last year because Delling, who has paranoid schizophrenia, was found unfit to stand trial. A psychologist appointed by the court testified Delling had a hallucination in which he believed he was Jesus, had millions of children and could see the future.

But in January, judge Bail said she was leaning toward allowing Delling to go to trial after hearing mental health experts say Delling’s delusions had receded and his mental health had greatly improved.

At the time, Delling’s defense lawyer Gus Cahill expressed reservations about Delling’s ability to fully understand the proceedings.

“If you’re sitting with a client who believes he is Jesus, how can you expect him to make rational decisions?” Cahill told the judge during a January hearing.

Neither Cahill nor the Ada County prosecutor’s office returned calls for comment Monday.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 18 and 19.

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