Murder suspect Nathan Utt appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Monday afternoon and waived his extradition to Idaho.
Utt, 41, is suspected of killing 78-year-old Shirley Ann Ramey in her home near Hope, Idaho, on Wednesday.
A transient known to frequent soup kitchens in the Sandpoint area, Utt was arrested early Saturday after authorities tracked him to an Amtrak train bound for Spokane. He is accused of first-degree murder and was wanted on a $500,000 warrant.
Utt, who can’t hear well, appeared in court with a sign language interpreter. He shook his head as if to say “no” when Judge Annette Plese asked him, “Do you know why you’re here?”
Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler said Saturday that Ramey, the former city clerk of Hope and a longtime resident of the area, had been shot – a disclosure that came after call logs were scrubbed from the Bonner County 911 website and neighbors complained they weren’t notified about a suspected killer on the loose.
Available court documents on Monday revealed no new details of the case. It’s not clear how investigators linked Utt to the crime, but Wheeler said Saturday that Utt had been living in a camper on Trestle Creek Road about a quarter mile from Ramey’s home. The sheriff said it didn’t appear Utt and Ramey knew each other.
Utt’s criminal history includes convictions for stalking and drug possession.
Local journalism is essential.
The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.