Court: Man unable to assist in defense

Print Article

SANDPOINT — A 19-year-old Cocolalla man accused of shooting a romantic rival to death last year has been deemed too mentally ill to assist in his own defense.

As a result, the first-degree murder case against Austin Blake Thrasher is suspended for the time being, court records show.

Thrasher is accused of luring Michael Wyatt Smith into the woods near Thrasher’s home and shooting him in the head and torso with a .357 pistol. The killing allegedly occurred last fall, but went undetected until earlier this year.

Christopher Robin Garlin and Thrasher’s wife, Jennifer, were charged with accessories to murder because they had knowledge of the slaying, but didn’t immediately report it to authorities.

Garlin, according to court documents, disclosed knowledge of the killing after the trio was arrested in connection with a Ponderay pawn shop burglary in January. Jennifer Thrasher led investigators to Smith’s makeshift grave in the Rapid Lightning drainage.

Smith, also 19, was allegedly killed because he was seeing a 16-year-old Clark Fork girl with whom Austin Thrasher had a romantic relationship.

Austin Thrasher’s defense counsel, Chief Public Defender Isabella Robertson, raised concerns about her client’s fitness to proceed in April, shortly after he was ordered to stand trial in 1st District Court.

Robertson renewed those concerns last summer, moving for Austin Thrasher to be evaluated because his symptoms of delusion had advanced to a point where he appeared unable to assist in his own defense.

The results of Dr. Carl Haugen’s evaluation were filed under seal last month, although Judge Steve Verby signed an order on Sept. 19 finding that there was good cause to doubt Austin Thrasher’s fitness to proceed.

Verby ordered Austin Thrasher be committed to the custody of the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare for up to 90 days. He could face further commitment or be returned to Bonner County to face trial if he’s found fit to proceed.

Jennifer Thrasher and Garlin, both 18, remain jailed while awaiting trial in federal court on the pawn shop burglary charges and the accessory charges in state court.

Print Article

Read More News

Trump jabbed first, and now world hits back in trade fight

AP

June 21, 2018 at 11:39 pm | WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States attacked first, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from around the globe and threatening to hit tens of billions of dollars in Chinese products. Now, the w...

Comments

Read More

Utah Jazz select Grayson Allen with 21st pick

AP

June 21, 2018 at 10:52 pm | SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A reputation as a dirty player followed Grayson Allen throughout his career at Duke. Allen is hoping he can carve out a new identity with the Utah Jazz. Allen's goal after b...

Comments

Read More

Mavs go Euro with rebuild again, trading up for Luka Doncic

AP

June 21, 2018 at 10:10 pm | DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Mavericks are going Euro with their rebuild, the same way they did 20 years ago with Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas moved up two spots in the NBA draft Thursday night to get Slove...

Comments

Read More

76ers net Texas Tech standout Smith in draft trade

AP

June 21, 2018 at 9:29 pm | CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers listed Zhaire Smith as their 1-B choice on their draft board. The Sixers landed the Texas Tech guard — they just had to give up their 1-A to get him. ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2018 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X