Not guilty plea entered in case

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SANDPOINT — A Bonner County woman charged with second-degree murder pleaded not guilty Tuesday amid ongoing plea negotiations.

If plea negotiations fail to bear fruit, Linda Carol Provo-Buxton’s is scheduled to stand trial in 1st District Court in April, court records show. She is charged with second-degree murder.

Provo-Buxton, 54, remains held at the Bonner County Jail with bail set at $250,000.

Provo-Buxton is accused of killing Jeffrey Lester Newton at the home on West Spring Creek Road near Hope on Oct. 15, 2016. Newton, 57, was found dead on a couch in the home.

He died of blunt-force trauma to the head, according to investigators.

Provo-Buxton attempted to turn herself in at the sheriff’s office the following day, but her daughter testified at a preliminary hearing that she was turned away from the facility and told to call Bonner Dispatch to report the incident.

Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler later arrested her near the Schweitzer Sand Creek Conoco off U.S. Highway 95 in Ponderay.

At the time of his killing, Newton was awaiting trial for domestic battery against Provo-Buxton, who was the protected party in an accompanying no-contact order.

Provo-Buxton’s daughter testified during a preliminary hearing that Newton had a lengthy history of mentally and physically abusing her mother.

However, Judge Justin Julian ruled during a preliminary hearing that physical evidence worked against an argument of self-defense. There was no evidence of a struggle which precipitated the killing and Newton was found lying on his back and partially undressed, indicating he may have been asleep when set upon.

Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall argued during the hearing that Newton’s killing was an unjustified act of vengeance, possibly as a result of Provo-Buxton being told to leave the premises.

At the time of his killing, Newton was awaiting trial for domestic battery against Provo-Buxton, who was the protected party in an accompanying no-contact order.

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