By Mike Weland
Bonners Ferry Chiropractor Daniel Moore, 63, was found competent at a Thursday motion hearing to face charges of second degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of murder for the March 12 shooting death of Brian Drake.
Idaho First District Magistrate Judge Justin Julian presided.
Both the state, represented by assistant Boundary County Prosecutor Tevis Hull, and defense attorney Katherine Bolton, concurred with the assessment with no argument.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, October 2.
In addition to the defendant’s competency, other motions were also taken up Thursday.
Bolton requested the return of computers seized as evidence from Dr. Moore, saying that the prosecution has had them since August, sufficient time for processing, and that not having them deprives her client, still in jail, of his livelihood as well as his ability to serve his patients.
Hull said defendants don’t usually get to direct how crimes are investigated, and he noted that the cybercrime unit examining the evidence is in Boise.
“What is disingenuous in this case is there are over 200 interviews and several search warrants not only in this State but also Montana,” court minutes depict Hull saying. “We are talking massive amounts (of information). The Idaho state police has put together a terabyte hard drive … It is massive amount of information. This takes a lot of man hours.”
He requested to be given until October 22 to return the evidence.
Judge Julian, saying that because Moore has been in custody, the lack of computers would “not interfere with his business because he is not in a position to do business,” granted the defense motion, but extended the requested one week for compliance to October 22.
Dr. Moore attempted to speak, but was told he couldn’t; “you have an attorney for that and she is doing a good job on your behalf,” the minutes read.
The state next requested extra time to redact protected patient and witness information from evidence to be turned over on discovery, which was denied by Julian, who clarified that the rule in question does not require such redaction if there is any other way to protect the information, to which Hull agreed that a court protective order would quell his concerns.
The defense requested delivery of the discovery by day’s end Thursday, to which all parties agreed.
The final motion was by the defense for a reduction in the $1-million bond.
“You would not find a more qualified individual for release,” Bolton said, pointing out that the defendant has been in the community for two decades, been married almost 40 years and has three grown children.
“He has a business and has established himself as an upstanding individual of the community and yet he is being detained on what we consider not much evidence,” court minutes read. “Of course Dr. Moore would abide by order to not contact victim or witnesses. No criminal record not even a speeding ticket.”
The state, she said, has the wrong person.
” … we still have not seen recorded confession which we feel will exonerate him completely. Two eye witnesses that saw someone running. My client was not identified. Coerced confession and that will be brought up at the right time. The Court should consider the history.”
She requested that Dr. Moore be released on his own recognizance or that bond be no more than $100,000 and further stipulated that her client would “surrender his passport or wear ankle monitor or whatever the Court ask.”
Hull disagreed with her contention that the state accused the wrong person, and said that a crime with a life penalty is very serious.
“Probable cause was established,” court minutes read. “There was an initial individual that was suspected that was in the area at the time
but for different reasons. There was Miranda rights and law enforcement several times asked if he wanted counsel. He continued giving information that put him at the scene.”
The additional suspect, he said, had been cleared.
In requesting continuation of Dr. Moore’s million dollar bond, or at minimum a reduction to no less than $500,000, he cited an incident involving a gas leak at his business before his arrest, which Dr. Moore described at a suicide attempt.
“I noted that Dr. Moore had a clean record not even so much as a speeding ticket,” Julian is quoted in the minutes. “However, this is a vicious and cold blooded crime here where another person was shot in the back for no reason. I know there is a dispute on confession, but Dr. Moore did give specific confession and discussed with detail why and how he did it, and he even went with law enforcement to show where he threw the weapon into the river to assist in retrieving it. Based on that, I will defer the motion on bond to end the preliminary hearing and the Court can review and address if the bond can be combined. I want to hear more facts on this case before I disturb the bond.”
During the October preliminary hearing, Judge Julian will take testimony from counsel to determine if there is sufficient evidence to establish probable cause, or reasonable grounds for bringing the defendant to trial. At its conclusion, charges an either be dismissed or the defendant bound over for trial before the district judge.