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Bringing you the latest domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and teen dating abuse-related news from across Idaho.

Two Found Dead in Mountain Home Murder-Suicide

MOUNTAIN HOME - Two people are dead in what Elmore County deputies are calling a murder-suicide. The deaths happened in a home on 3725 McCoy Lane in Mountain Home on Sunday evening, according to the Elmore County Sheriff's Office. Detectives identified the homicide victim as 42-year-old Michelle G. Gutierrez, a long-time Mountain Home resident. The suspect is identified as 49-year-old Jaye M. Houtcooper of Mountain Home. Detectives believes the pair was having some relationship problems that started Saturday night, and when Gutierrez attempted to leave the home on Sunday evening Houtcooper shot and killed her, then turned the gun on himself. Detectives were on scene until early Monday morning.  The investigation is ongoing.


Man Gets 22 Years to Life for Killing Girlfriend on Christmas Day

COEUR D'ALENE - A 29-year-old northern Idaho man has been sentenced to 22 years to life in prison for shooting his girlfriend to death on Christmas Day 2011. Joseph Herrera of St. Maries apologized Thursday before being sentenced by 1st District Judge Fred Gibler in Coeur d'Alene. Herrera said he took full responsibility for the death of 18-year-old Stefanie Comack, who was shot in the head in an upstairs bedroom at Herrera's parents' house. Herrera was convicted of second-degree murder in June. During the trial he testified he pointed what he believed was an unloaded gun at his head and said he would rather shoot himself than go to Comack's parents' house for Christmas. He said she grabbed the gun and it went off. Prosecutors argued Comack was planning to break up with Herrera.


Man Sentenced for Attempted Rape at College of Idaho

An international student from Ecuador was sentenced to prison on Monday for felony attempted rape after a crime he committed this past February at the College of Idaho, Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor announced.  Judge George A. Southworth sentenced Diego Gomez-Puetate, 23, to 18 months, or up to 7 1/2 years, in prison. The state had requested three years, or up to 15 years, in prison. Gomez-Puetate was also ordered to register as a sex offender, pay the victim a $5,000 civil penalty and have no contact with the victim. According to information provided by the prosecutor's office: Gomez-Puetate and the victim were both international students at C of I and were attending a party at the International House on campus on Feb. 7. The victim became extremely intoxicated and passed out in a friend's bed. GomezPuetate was found in the bedroom between the legs of the victim, who was unconscious. Gomez-Puetate told police the victim had consented to the activity. "Unfortunately these types of crimes happen all too often and go unreported," Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Erica Kallin said. "The victim, as well as her friend who witnessed the crime, demonstrated tremendous courage in coming forward and reporting this crime. Mr. Gomez-Puetate was held accountable for his criminal choices."


McCormick Pleads Guilty to Charges of Lewd Conduct

CANYON COUNTY - Lewd conduct with a minor under 16 carries a maximum penalty of life in prison under state law, but Julie McCormick, who pleaded guilty to the charge Friday morning, may never see the inside of an Idaho prison.  At a hearing before 3rd District Judge Bradly S. Ford on Friday morning, McCormick, 31, spoke with a quiet, shaky voice when she confessed she had an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old male inmate at the Idaho Department of Juvenile Correction facility in Nampa. McCormick was employed by IDJC at the time. "On three separate occasions, I had sexual contact with the victim," she told Ford when he asked her to explain her plea. But Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Erica Kallin agreed to recommend probation instead of prison time in exchange for McCormick's cooperation in an unrelated case. Nicole Kirtley, a Melba woman arrested in February on charges of second-degree murder and grand theft in connection with the shooting death of a Nampa man, was housed in the Canyon County jail along with McCormick, Kallin said. During that time, Kirtley told McCormick things "relevant and material" to Kirtley's investigation.

Read more: http://www.idahopress.com/members/mccormick-pleads-guilty-to-charges-of-lewd-conduct/article_fcacf96c-0c77-11e3-9b5a-001a4bcf887a.html 

Moscow Man Denies Charges in Wife's Disappearance

LEWISTON - A Moscow man has pleaded not guilty to murder and conspiracy charges in the April 2010 disappearance of his estranged wife. The Lewiston Tribune reports 52-year-old Charles A. Capone entered his pleas Tuesday before 2nd District Judge Michael J. Griffin. A trial is set for Dec. 9.Capone and co-defendant David C. Stone are charged with first-degree murder, failure to notify law enforcement about a death and conspiracy to commit both charges 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. Stone has not entered a plea. The Latah County Prosecutor's Office filed a motion Tuesday to combine the trials of Capone and Stone because they would include the same evidence and witnesses.


Mall Attack Suspect, Relatives All Plead Not Guilty to Charges

BOISE - A jury trial in the case of an assault at the Boise Towne Square Mall is now scheduled for Dec. 16. Greggory Macho, his wife Jessica Macho and his brother Richard Macho all pleaded not guilty Wednesday to various charges stemming from the incident. Greggory Macho is accused of attacking and attempting to sexually assault a woman in a car, before running over a second woman who came to her aid. Prosecutors say he forced the woman down in her car, kissed her, groped her and choked her. He faces felony counts of kidnapping, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and destruction of evidence. He is also being charged with using a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony. Police allege that Jessica Macho and Richard Macho helped Greggory alter the appearance of his truck and hide from police after a May 14 attack in the Boise Towne Square parking lot. They each face one count of destruction of evidence. 


Lewd Conduct With a Minor

MARSING - A Marsing man was transferred from Owyhee County Aug. 27 to the Ada County Jail in connection with an outstanding felony warrant. Boise Police said the suspect was wanted in connection with allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with a juvenile male younger than 10-years-old. The victim said the activity took place in 2003 and 2004 at a Boise home. 34-year-old Gabrial Hamilton of Marsing was booked into the Ada County lockup on a felony count of lewd conduct with a minor under 16.


72-year-old Charged with Lewd Conduct with Child

BOISE - A Boise man is facing a felony charge after police say he sexually abused a child under the age of ten last year. Sterling Edwin Burton, 72, was arrested Wednesday evening on a felony lewd conduct warrant. The inappropriate contact happened at a Boise home on more than one occasion, according to the warrant. Police said the victim and the suspect knew each other. Burton was booked into the Ada County Jail Wednesday. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon.


Special Team to Investigate Jail Death of Lawmaker's Son

POCATELLO - An eastern Idaho sheriff says the investigation into the death in jail of the 26-year-old son of an Idaho state lawmaker has been turned over to a special investigative team. Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen tells the Idaho State Journal that the tri-county investigative team is taking over with detectives from Bingham and Jefferson counties in charge. Bannock County Jail officials in Pocatello say Jason VanOrden of Pingree died early Friday. He's the son of Rep. Julie VanOrden of Pingree. Nielsen says the death "was consistent with suicide." Jason VanOrden was arrested last month following a standoff with police in Pocatello in which he told officers that he had a knife and a gun. He has several previous arrests, including driving under the influence and domestic battery.


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Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence
300 E. Mallard Dr., Boise, Idaho 83706� 208.384.0419