Suspect in ice pick killing awaits hearing

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SANDPOINT — A preliminary hearing for a Priest River man accused of murdering his pregnant wife is set for Jan. 23, 2013.

The hearing is to determine if there’s sufficient justification to try Jeremy Keith Swanson on two counts of first-degree murder. Swanson can either compel the state to convince a judge that it has enough evidence to warrant a trial or waive the hearing and proceed to arraignment in 1st District Court.

Swanson is being held without bail at the Bonner County Jail.

The preliminary hearing was originally scheduled to be held on Jan. 2, 2013, but the state and the defense jointly moved to postpone the proceeding because the defense was still awaiting investigative and other reports in the case, court documents indicate.

Swanson, 27, is accused of stabbing Jennifer Marie Bosch-Swanson multiple times with an ice pick and a kitchen knife at their Priest River home on Dec. 18. The blitz, according to probable cause hearing testimony, was unprovoked and carried out as she lay in bed.

Jennifer Bosch-Swanson, also 27, was 15-18 weeks pregnant when she was slain, the criminal complaint states. She suffered multiple wounds to her head, chest and back.

Jeremy Swanson called Bonner Dispatch to report the killing and was taken into custody without incident. The couple’s 20-month old daughter was in an adjacent room when the killing took place.

Jeremy Swanson initially told sheriff’s investigators the killing was not planned and occurred amid an argument about money and vehicles.

Detectives, however, discovered incriminating Internet search histories on a computer in the home. The searches involved methods of torturing a person by inflicting ice pick wounds that are not immediately fatal and inflicting wounds that could escape detection during an autopsy, Det. Phil Stella testified during the probable cause hearing.

Investigators confronted Swanson with the search histories and he allegedly confessed to planning the killing and purchasing an ice pick at a local hardware store to carry out the deed.

“He bought nothing else at Priest River Hardware other than the ice pick,” Stella said during the Dec. 19 probable cause hearing.

Jeremy Swanson appeared to be in a semi-catatonic state immediately after the killings but investigators said he did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Swanson himself insisted he was not impaired.

Jeremy Swanson has no prior criminal record. Although a motive does not have to be established in order for the state to secure a conviction, one has yet to emerge in this case.

The state has 60 days after arraignment in district court to put the defense on notice that it intends to seek the death penalty against Swanson.

A memorial for Bosch-Swanson is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at the Blanchard Community Church.

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