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Defense rests in the Brad Compher murder trial; Closing arguments set for Monday

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - UPDATE 3:39 p.m. - In a surprise move, defense attorneys in the Brad Compher trial rested their case.

Their case was expected to last several more days and include testimony from several more witnesses including convicted murderers Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper.  

None of those witnesses will be taking the stand now.

Judge Javier Gabiola said he does not want to do closing arguments on Friday and then send home the jury for the weekend. Instead, the jury will have Friday off and come back Monday for closing arguments. Attorneys and the Judge will meet Friday to decide on jury instructions as they prepare for deliberations.

PREVIOUS STORY: It is now the Defense's turn to convince a jury Brad Compher did not kill Nori Jones in 2004.

Day 7 of the trial began with a motion from the Defense, asking the judge to acquit Compher because the state did not present enough evidence to convict him.

Judge Javier Gabiola ruled there is enough evidence for the trial to continue. That evidence includes a cut screen from a window in Nori's home. The window had Compher's DNA on it. Experts say there's a 1 in 93 million chance it came from anyone other than Compher. The state also provided information of DNA evidence in Nori Jones' sexual assault kit, and on a ring she was wearing.

First on the witness stand was Robert Spillett.

Spillett, an original suspect in the case, was accused of harassing Nori Jones at work in the months before her murder. Both Spillet and Jones worked at Job Services. Spillett was removed as a suspect when his DNA was not found on Nori’s body.

Judge Javier Gabiola was told that Robert Spillett would likely plead the 5th Amendment, so Gabiola ruled that Spillet's testimony would be given without the jury present. Spillet arrived at court with his attorney Bob Eldridge.

Robert Spillett enters the Bannock County Courtroom on Feb. 29, 2024. He was once a suspect in the Nori Jones' murder case.

Spillet appeared to have a hard time hearing the judge after he took the stand. He told the judge that he would plead the 5th Amendment to any question he was asked.

Robert Spillett enters a Bannock County Courtroom on Feb. 29, 2024.

Defense is now questioning Detective Michael Brennan and Detective Ralph Daniels with the Pocatello Police Department. The questioning focused on a dream Robert Spillett had after the murder. He told detectives about it when they were questioning him as a suspect in the murder.

Pocatello Police Detective Michael Brennan testifies.

Detective Ralph Daniels then took the stand, he was a Detective with the Pocatello Police Department at the time of the murders. He is being questioned about an interview he did with Robert Spillett after Nori’s murder.

When officers talked to Robert Spillett he described sexual fantasies he had about Nori Jones. Spillett specifically told detectives about a dream he had about Nori that closely resembled the crime scene.

Former Pocatello Police Detective Ralph Daniels testifies.

Spillett stated he wanted to have a relationship outside of work with her. The officers said Spillett tried to find ways to contact her. He looked in the phone book to find her address and was surprised that the information was there. It's believed Spillet drove by her house but it may have been an older address and not Nori's home on Poline where the murder happened.

Outside of the presence of the jury, they again talked about the dream that Spillett had.

Officer Daniels said some of the details of the dream are significant because they were similar to the crime scene. However, there were differences and the dream kept changing.

The jury was asked to leave several times so attorneys could discuss the testimony about the dream.

Daniels testified that Spillett told them that in his dream he was standing at the foot of the bed and saw Nori’s body. He also said he was floating on the ceiling in an out-of-body experience.

Spillet was shown two photos of the crime scene after he made the statements of the dream, Daniels testified. None of the information about the crime scene had been in the press or disclosed to the public, but several other people knew about the crime scene, Daniels said. Daniels said he was not sure the crime scene evidence was known only to detectives.

The defense has called back Kevin Coffin for testimony Thursday afternoon. He is the landlord of the home where Nori Jones was living and murdered.

Kevin Coffin, landlord of the home where Nori Jones was murdered, testifies on Thursday.

Close to a year after the murder, Coffin made an odd discovery about the water heater in the basement or cellar area of Nori’s home.

Coffin said someone had been trying to get inside the home. He said in June 2005, some locks had been kicked in. Coffins said the water heater had graffiti on it. He said the word "Forgive” was written on it with a red marker. He called one of the detectives with the Pocatello Police Department and they came and looked at it, Coffin said.

The trial will continue with witnesses for the defense. This story is being updated throughout the day.

You can view our previous story HERE.

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Linda Larsen

Linda is an anchor and reporter for Local News 8.


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