Suspect sentenced in burglary case

Woman also is implicated in murder case

SANDPOINT — A Cocolalla woman implicated in a Bonner County murder case was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday for her role in an unrelated pawn shop heist.

Jennifer Stephen Thrasher was also ordered to pay $8,116 in restitution and serve three years of probation, according to the terms of the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill.

Thrasher, whose maiden name is Dunnagan, pleaded guilty in July to stealing 33 firearms from Pawn Now in Ponderay during a December 2011 break-in.

Thrasher, her husband Austin, and Christopher Robin Garlin were arrested in January in connection with the burglary. While in custody, Garlin allegedly disclosed to investigators that he witnessed Austin Thrasher shoot Michael Wyatt Smith to death outside the Thrashers’ Cocolalla home the previous fall.

Jennifer Thrasher, according to court documents, ultimately led investigators to a shallow grave which held the body of Smith, 19. Authorities believe Smith was killed shortly after he disappeared in the fall of last year.

Austin Thrasher, 20, was charged with first-degree murder, although his case remains on hold because he has been deemed unfit to assist in his own defense due to mental health issues.

Jennifer Thrasher, 23, and Garlin, a 19-year-old from Clark Fork, were charged as accessories to murder for initially withholding knowledge of Smith’s killing.

All three defendants have remained in custody since their arrest for the Pawn Now burglary. They were originally charged with burglary in state court, although Jennifer Thrasher and Garlin’s cases were shifted to federal court, where they were prosecuted as part of Idaho’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program which aims to reduce gun violence in the state.

Austin Thrasher’s burglary case in Idaho’s 1st District Court is pending, although on hold due to the competency issue.

Garlin pleaded guilty to the Pawn Now burglary earlier this month and is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on Jan. 13, 2013.

A binding plea agreement is pending in Garlin’s accessory case and he’s scheduled to enter a plea on Monday. The agreement seeks a sentence that will run concurrently with his sentence in the federal case.

The proposed terms of Garlin’s federal sentence are filed under seal, according to the federal courts database.

Jennifer Thrasher testified during a preliminary hearing in the murder case that she reached a plea agreement with the state, although the document has not been filed yet in district court. A pretrial conference is set for Nov. 8.

Read More News

Idaho Daybook

AP

May 02, 2016 at 2:01 am | Associated Press Idaho Daybook for Monday, May. 02.

Read More

For Hospitals, Prestige Leads To Profits

AP

May 02, 2016 at 1:00 pm | When it comes to hospitals, which benefit most from high health care prices? It may sound counter-intuitive, but a group of not-for-profit hospitals appear to be among those doing the best...

Read More

Medicare Pays Bonuses To 231 Hospitals With Lower Quality Because Of Cheaper Costs

AP

May 02, 2016 at 1:00 pm | The federal government paid bonuses to 231 hospitals with subpar quality because their patients tend to be less expensive for Medicare, new research shows.

Read More

Opioid Epidemic Fueling Hospitalizations, Hospital Costs

AP

May 02, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Every day, headlines detail the casualties of the nation’s surge in heroin and prescription painkiller abuse: the funerals, the broken families and the patients cycling in and out of treatment.

Read More