Details of the lost recording emerged Wednesday during the second day of a preliminary hearing for Charles A. Capone and David C. Stone. The men are facing murder charges in Latah County for their alleged roles in the disappearance of Capone's estranged wife, Rachael Anderson, of Lewiston.
On the stand Wednesday, Moscow Police Lt. James Fry said he wishes he would have preserved a recorded interview with Capone three years ago. During that interview, Capone allegedly said he didn't kill his wife but knew where her body was located.
Fry also said the decision was made to record over that statement because the recording also contained taped conversations between Capone and his attorney. Fry said detectives responded that way to preserve the attorney-client privilege and avoid hearing anything they shouldn't have.
Capone's defense attorney Mark Monson was shocked to learn about the lost evidence.
"You made a conscious decision to not preserve the most critical piece of evidence in this case?" he said.
Magistrate John C. Judge called the lost statement a "pretty big oversight," something a district judge would have to address if the two men are bound over for a criminal trial.
Capone, 52, and Stone, 49, are both charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and other counts.
Anderson, the mother of four kids, disappeared in April 2010. She was in the process of divorcing Capone when she vanished.
The statement Capone allegedly made about knowing the whereabouts of the body came during an interview with Asotin County (Wash.) Sheriff Capt. Dan Hally and was on the same recording as Capone's conversation with the defense lawyer.
The preliminary hearing resumes Thursday.
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