Idaho

Police: S. Idaho shop owner shot after offering robber a job

BURLEY, Idaho – A man police say shot and killed the owner of a car repair shop business in south-central Idaho after the owner offered him a job has been bound over for trial in district court.

The Times-News reports the ruling on Friday means Luis Gabriel Ponce’s case will move to 5th District Court. Ponce is charged with first-degree murder, attempted robbery and burglary.

Police say that Ponce, 21, went to Fassett Transmission in Burley to rob 58-year-old Christopher Fassett in early December. Police say Fassett offered to let Ponce work for him rather than hand over cash.

Police say Ponce left but returned, and Fassett again offered him a job.

Cassia County Sheriff Detective Robert Taylor testified that Ponce, at that point, said, “I can’t wait,” and shot Fassett in the stomach, and then in the head. Fassett’s body was found on Dec. 13.

Cassia County Magistrate Judge Blaine Cannon said it appears Ponce acted with premeditation and malice.

“He was prepared to kill Mr. Fassett if necessary,” Cannon said.

Cassia County Coroner Craig Rinehart testified that the first shot lodged in Fassett’s shoulder after traveling through much of his body, damaging multiple organs and clipping a major blood vessel that transports blood from the heart. He said the second shot to the head “caused immediate death.”

Ponce is being held on $2 million bail. His next court appearance is Feb. 6.