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Former Idaho gubernatorial candidate to undergo psychological evaluation before trial

Steven Dana Pankey
Ada County Sheriff's Office
Steven Dana Pankey

GREELEY, Colorado (KIFI)- The 69-year-old man accused of kidnapping and murdering 12-year-old Jonelle Matthews in Greeley, Colorado will undergo a psychological evaluation before trial.

This follows prosecutors’ receipt of a report indicating the man has a disorder that led him to make unreliable statements about the case over the years.

Steve Pankey appeared in court Friday with defense attorney Anthony Viorst for a motions hearing before the case goes to a jury trial this summer.

Pankey is accused of taking Jonelle from her Greeley home while her family was away sometime before 9:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 1984, and killing her with a gunshot wound to the head.

The Greeley Tribune reports that in deliberating on certain motions, Weld District Judge Timothy Kerns stressed the importance of not admitting evidence that should be inadmissible according to statutes and case law, so as to avoid any possibilities of a mistrial. 

With the psychological evaluation and its elements pending, the trial date of July 12 was vacated. Another motions hearing has been set for 1:30 p.m. July 21.

Pankey is a former Idaho gubernatorial candidate, who first spoke out in 2019 about being a suspect in the case.

The full details of the hearing can be found here

Crime Tracker / Idaho / Local News / Top Stories
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