After deliberating for about four hours on Thursday, the jury arrived at the Kootenai County Courthouse on Friday ready to announce its decision.
It found Jonathan D. Renfro, 29, guilty of first-degree murder for shooting Coeur d’Alene Police Sgt. Greg Moore in the face on May 5, 2015. It also found him guilty of robbery, concealing evidence and removing a gun from a police officer.
After the verdict was read, Moore’s widow, Lindy Moore, took turns hugging prosecutors Barry McHugh, Jed Whitaker and David Robins. She then stood for several minutes crying and hugging at friend. She also hugged Greg Moore’s ex-wife, Jennifer Brumley, who has been sitting next to Lindy Moore for days.
Asked her response to the verdict, Lindy Moore tried for several moments to collect herself. She wiped tears before struggling to say, “I can’t.”
As Moore’s wife and friends grieved, Renfro remained at the defense table, his face set. At one point, he looked over his left shoulder to watch as friends continued to console Lindy Moore.
“Greg is smiling down right now,” Whitaker told her.
The verdict brings the first phase of the trial, which started on Sept. 11, to a close. It now opens the second “aggravating factors” phase. Prosecutors are expected to present evidence of alleged death threats to jailers and other inmates, along with other statements to show Renfro displays an ongoing propensity to commit murder.
While the prosecutors and defense attorneys remain under a gag order, they indicated in court that the next phase of the trial could take two weeks. If the jury, which was sent home until Monday, finds that one or more aggravating factors exist, they move to the third phase.
At that point, they would decide whether Renfro is sent to prison for life without the possibility of parole, or receives the death penalty.
First District Judge Lansing Haynes sent the jury, which had been sequestered Thursday night, home for the weekend until attorneys start presenting evidence on Monday.
The prosecution is expected to call witnesses to describe how Renfro threatened to kill a deputy, a fellow inmate and at one point hatched a plan to escape during his incarceration. That plan allegedly included the possibility of taken a corrections deputy hostage and could have included serious injuries, according to court testimony.
Defense attorneys are expected to try to show that Renfro suffered from a traumatic head injury, which affected his decision making, attorneys said in court.
But the verdict on the guilt phase brought an emotional end to the main case against Renfro.
On Thursday, Robins told the jury that Renfro shot Moore in the mouth as part of a ambush-style shooting to avoid going back to prison.
Defense attorney Linda Payne tried to make the case that Moore wasn’t acting in his official capacity as an officer because he delayed turning on his body camera and never ordered Renfro to remove his hands from his pockets.
But the jury rejected the latter arguments, and convicted Renfro of not only the murder but also robbery for stealing Moore’s gun while he choked on his own blood. He was also found guilty of removing a gun from an officer for the same act.
As for his last felony, Renfro was convicted of concealing evidence after he threw the murder weapon, which was stolen just days before the shooting, in a field near Stateline. That gun and other items were found not far from where officers arrested Renfro, who was hiding in the undercarriage of a semi-trailer parked at the nearby Wal-Mart.
Under that trailer, a deputy found the clips and Glock pistol stolen from Moore, who died later that day at Kootenai Medical Center.
After the verdict on Friday, bailiffs led the jury out single file. As they walked out, Lindy Moore and her friends turned to face them. With tears in her eyes, Lindy Moore smiled at the jurors, most of whom looked down.
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