Local news

Review of evidence granted in couple’s murder

HAILEY, Idaho – A judge has granted a review of newly discovered evidence that could lead to a new trial for a woman convicted of shooting her parents to death when she was 16.

Fifth District Court Judge R. Barry Wood on Wednesday granted Sarah Johnson’s motion related to fingerprints recently identified from the weapon used to kill Alan and Diane Johnson at their Bellevue, Idaho, home.

Johnson was convicted of the murders in 2005 and sentenced to two life terms plus a 15-year weapons enhancement.

Blaine County authorities contend the fingerprints discovered at the Idaho State Police Bureau of Criminal Identification lab have nothing to do with the September 2003 murders.

Authorities said the rifle used belonged to a renter who was living in the family’s guesthouse and that the fingerprints belong to the renter’s former roommate.

Johnson’s attorney, Christopher Simms, asked for a background check on the man the fingerprints belong to, Christopher Hill.

Jessica Lorello, representing the state, said it was prepared to release the follow-up reports and fingerprint records on Monday.

Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling said Hill has been fully investigated, and that Hill had legally fired the weapon before the murders.


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