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Ish stands trial before jury for first time

On Monday afternoon, a 14 member jury picked from Twin Falls arrived in the Bannock County courthouse to hear the opening statements from both the prosecution and the defense behind the trial of Martin Edmo Ish.

Ish is accused of beating Eugene Lorne Red Elk to death back in 2009 outside of Duffy’s Tavern.

Red Elk worked as a bouncer at the time the alleged crime took place.

Red Elk was found bleeding and unresponsive in a parking lot outside of Duffy’s Tavern that night on June 14. He was taken to Portneuf Medical Center that night, then shortly after, he was life flighted to EIRMC in Idaho Falls. He died three days later.

State prosecutors gave their opening statement first, followed by the defense.

The state said the story all started at a Pocatello bar called Bourbon Barrel, where Monday’s witnesses worked that night.

The two witnesses took the stand, both claiming Ish showed-up at the bar with a few friends. The bartender, Linda Loveday Wood, noticed him trying to steal cigarettes from behind the bar counter. She said both she and the bar owner tried to kick him out, but claimed Ish became angry and wouldn’t leave.

That’s when the bar owner at the time, Jenny Hill, threatened Ish with a bat before telling his friends to take him out.

Hill and Wood said his friends later came back to the bar and told the two women they took him to Duffy’s.

Wood said she called over to Duffy’s to let them know Ish was heading over.

The court didn’t go into details about what happened at Duffy’s but mentioned at some point, shortly after he arrived, Red Elk asked him to leave.

At that point, Red Elk showed him out, and that’s when the details beg discrepancies from both the prosecution and the defense.

The key witness in the trial, Heather Davis, lived across the street from Duffy’s and told police she saw the whole thing happen.

However, both the prosecution and the defense agreed that her story to police changed over the years.

But one thing about her story has maintained – the person she thought she saw make that encounter with Red Elk in the parking lot was tall, thin, wearing a do-rag, and a woman’s spaghetti-strap shirt. None of those described Ish.

The defense claims Davis could never pick Ish out of the initial lineup, but after years of media reports surfaced, she started changing her story.

The case went cold until 2012 when called Ish’s girlfriend at the time the alleged crime happened.

She told police Ish called her the night of the incident and said he knocked someone out. He didn’t say when, where, or who.

Then in 2015, Ish’s son Anthony had a run-in with the law. His defense attorneys said it involved their cousin, Jennifer Teton, who became disgruntled and went to police to tell them on June 15, 2009, the morning after the crime, she went over to her aunt’s home to get the paper as usual. That’s where Ish lived at the time.

According to the prosecution, she told police he asked for a ride home from a man named Charles Tattemy.

The prosecution continued to argue Tattemy told police the night of the crime, he had left Duffy’s, and asked for a ride home. They said Tattemy told police Ish was frantic, and then asked him to drive him by the bar one more time and describe the scene to him.

The trial will continue on Tuesday morning at 9am, and is expected to last until the end of the month.

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