A judge will determine whether to dismiss murder charges against a Bonner County chiropractor charged with shooting and killing another chiropractor in town in March 2020.
Bonners Ferry resident Daniel L. Moore stands accused of second-degree murder in the March 12, 2020, death of 45-year-old Brian Drake.
Moore appeared virtually in court Wednesday as Kootenai County District Judge Barbara Buchanan considered a motion to dismiss the case filed by Jill Bolton, Moore’s attorney. A judge in March ordered the case be transferred from Boundary County to Kootenai County .
Moore was arrested in August. Buchanan, however, ruled in February a confession from Moore was ”the product of police coercion” and found it, and all incriminating statements he made after an initial request for a lawyer, inadmissible in court.
The motion to dismiss, filed April 14, is based on that ruling. The motion was filed under Idaho law allowing defendants to challenge the sufficiency of evidence brought forward at a preliminary hearing. Part of the statute compels a district judge to dismiss a case if they find a magistrate judge “has held the defendant to answer without reasonable or probable cause.”
“This case is very straightforward,” Bolton said. “(First District) Magistrate Judge (Justin) Julian relied on a confession. The state relied on a confession. That was their only evidence to establish my client’s involvement in this case to establish the required probable cause for this court to hear it.”
Prosecutors submitted their objection to dropping the charge on April 28, calling the motion “misplaced.” Bolton filed a response May 3.
After prosecutor Tevis Hull and Bolton made their arguments Wednesday, Buchanan said she will “take the matter under advisement” and issue a written decision after reviewing relevant case law.
“I want to do a little bit more research,” she said. “I’m not seeing anyone providing me any case that’s directly on point in this matter.”
Pending her determination on the motion to dismiss, Buchanan floated a potential trial date for early September.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.