A former Priest River, Idaho, resident has acknowledged that enough evidence exists for him to be convicted on charges related to the death of his wife in 2004, according to KHQ
But in entering the plea, known as an Alford plea, Stephen M. Lott, 49, did not admit guilt for the crimes he was reportedly facing: manslaughter and concealing a body from authorities.
Lott was charged in 2018 with first-degree murder and failure to notify the coroner of the death of his wife Christine Lott, 14 years after the 34-year-old mother of three was last seen at Mitchell’s IGA in Priest River, and two years after her body was found in a shed by a hunter in the Kootenai County woods along a Forest Service road.
After her body was identified, the sheriff’s offices in Bonner and Kootenai counties began a joint investigation in which Stephen Lott was considered the primary person of interest.
That investigation revealed a letter Lott wrote to a family member contradicting information he had provided to detectives. In the letter, he indicated his wife’s death happened in Bonner County and that she may have killed herself, according to earlier Spokesman-Review coverage.
After detectives acquired the letter, they filed a first-degree murder arrest warrant and set Lott’s bond at $1 million. Later, a grand jury found probable cause to charge him with first-degree murder and failure to notify the coroner of a death.
Lott will be sentenced in September, KHQ reported.
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