June 12, 2013 in Idaho

North Idaho murder trial under way

Associated Press

COEUR D’ALENE — The murder trial has begun for a North Idaho man charged in connection with the death of his girlfriend on Christmas day.

Prosecutors charged St. Maries resident Joseph D. Herrera with 2nd degree murder after his girlfriend, 18-year-old Stefanie A. Comack, died of gunshot wounds on Dec. 25, 2011. Herrera was originally set to stand trial in Benewah County, but the case was moved to Kootenai County after attorneys were unable to find a jury. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports 100 potential jurors reported they had connections to either the Herrera or Comack families.

Herrera, who has pleaded not guilty, says Comack’s death was accidental.

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