Hearing nears in cold-case murder

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  • Stephen M. Lott

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    (Courtesy photo) Christine Lott’s body was discovered in Kootenai County in 2016, 12 years after she reportedly disappeared in Priest River.

  • Stephen M. Lott

  • 1

    (Courtesy photo) Christine Lott’s body was discovered in Kootenai County in 2016, 12 years after she reportedly disappeared in Priest River.

SANDPOINT — A Tennessee man accused of killing his wife in Bonner County in 2004 is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday in 1st District Court.

Stephen Mathew Lott is charged with first-degree murder and failing to notify the coroner of a death.

Lott, 48, murdered Christine Lott on or about March 25, 2004, according to the criminal complaint. Chrstine Lott was a 34-year-old mother of three at the time of her disappearance.

Stephen Lott told investigators that he saw his wife get into a pickup truck outside Mitchell’s Harvest Foods and drive off westbound on U.S. Highway 2.

However, Stephen Lott alleged tried to explain away his wife’s death as a suicide in a letter to a family member last month, which wildly contradicted his remarks to investigators.

Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall obtained a $1 million arrest warrant, which led to Stephen Lott’s apprehension in Mufreesboro, Tenn., on June 19. A Bonner County grand jury was subsequently convened and found probable cause to charge with the two felonies.

Stephen Lott did not fight extradition back to Idaho to answer to the charges, court records indicate.

Christine Lott’s remains were discovered in a remote and forested area off U.S. Forest Service Road No. 499 east of Coeur d’Alene in February 2016, although Kootenai County sheriff’s investigators did not reveal the discovery until December 2017.

Investigators on both sides of the county line conducted follow-up work on the case. Sheriff’s officials here said the investigation further indicated that Stephen Lott was the primary person of interest in the case.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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