Idaho man denies murder and conspiracy charges

MOSCOW, Idaho — A Moscow man has pleaded not guilty to murder and conspiracy charges stemming from the April 2010 disappearance of another man’s estranged wife.

Fifty-year-old David C. Stone of Moscow made the plea Thursday in 2nd District Court.

Fifty-two-year-old Charles A. Capone, also of Moscow, pleaded not guilty to the same charges in August.

Capone and co-defendant Stone are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the death of Rachael Anderson of Clarkston, Wash. She was last seen at Capone’s shop in Moscow. Her body has not been found.

Judge Jeff Brudie said he will decide as soon as possible on a motion by Latah County Prosecuting Attorney William Thompson Jr. to combine the two trials.

“What it really boils down to is the charges are identical, the evidence is identical, and there’s really no reason these two cases shouldn’t be tried together,” Thompson said.

Stone’s attorney, public defender Charles Kovis, hasn’t submitted a written response but said he was against combining the trials.

“I think my client’s constitutional rights trump that (of judicial economy),” Kovis said.

He said combining the trials would be a violation of due process, imply guilt by association and confuse the jury.

Capone’s attorney, D. Ray Barker, said he was against combining the trials for the same reason.

“I think trying to jockey things around the two defendants in the same trial with the same jury would be so confusing that there would be a loss of due process,” Barker said.

Stone’s trial date hasn’t been set. Capone’s trial is scheduled to start Dec. 9.

If Brudie decides to join the trials, a new trial date would be set for both men.

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