MOSCOW, Idaho — A northern Idaho judge has ruled that potentially incriminating statements made to police by a man charged with killing his estranged wife can’t be used at trial.
Second District Judge Michael J. Griffin on Wednesday granted the defense motion made by attorneys for 52-year-old Charles A. Capone.
Rachael Anderson, a 40-year-old mother of four from Clarkston, Wash., was in the process of getting a divorce when she disappeared on April 16, 2010.
Authorities say she was lured to a Moscow, Idaho, auto repair shop owned by Capone, where she was drugged and killed. Her body hasn’t been found.
About three weeks after Anderson’s disappearance, Capone was arrested on a firearms offense and taken to the Moscow Police Department.
Capone’s attorney, Mark Monson, said that after being read his Miranda rights, Capone invoked his right to an attorney. Monson said testimony given by three different law enforcement officers during the preliminary hearing shows that a law enforcement official from Washington state continued questioning Capone.
According to testimony, Asotin County Sheriff’s Capt. Dan Hally asked Capone if he wanted to talk about Anderson, and Capone said he did. Hally then directed Capone to tell him he killed Anderson and say where her body was located.
Hally testified that Capone responded: “You got one of those correct.”
Also Wednesday, Griffin denied a defense motion to have the first-degree murder trial moved out of Latah County. On a third motion, he said he would rule at a later date whether to allow at trial statements made by Capone’s estranged wife about her fears that Capone was stalking her.
The case appeared to languish for some three years until May 2013, when Capone and David C. Stone were charged with first-degree murder, failure to notify a coroner or law enforcement officer about a death, and conspiracy to commit both of those crimes.
Capone has pleaded not guilty. Monson has argued there’s no evidence of Anderson’s death in Idaho, leaving authorities with speculation and conjecture.
In December, Stone pleaded guilty to failure to notify law enforcement about a death.
The plea on the lesser charge is part of a deal that calls for him to testify at Capone’s trial. If a judge accepts the deal, Stone will be sentenced to seven years in jail, and the murder charge against him will be dropped.
Latah County Prosecutor William Thompson Jr. has said detectives interviewed Stone and believe he is not responsible for Anderson’s death but helped cover it up.
Thompson said a search late last year of the Snake River west of Clarkston was related, in part, to what Stone told investigators.
Capone is being held in the Latah County Jail with a trial scheduled to start June 23.