By Lyndsie Kiebert
Bonner County District Court Judge Barbara Buchanan granted another continuance Dec. 16 in the case of Judith Carpenter, the Coeur d’Alene woman accused of murdering 79-year-old Shirley Ramey at her home in Hope in 2017. Carpenter’s plea is pending a finalized psychological evaluation and DNA evidence.
Counsel for Carpenter said Dr. John Wolfe, a professor of psychology at Gonzaga University, is nearly done with an evaluation of their client’s mental state. However, a final version of that report was not yet available at the Dec. 16 arraignment hearing. The court is also anticipating DNA evidence from blood found on the pistol that Carpenter allegedly used in the killing. Because Idaho has only one lab to process evidence from such high-profile cases, North Idaho cases often take several months to process.
This is the third continuance granted to the defense in the case, in which Carpenter is facing a first-degree murder charge. Her next opportunity to enter a plea is Monday, Jan. 13 at 9 a.m. at the Bonner County Courthouse.
Counsel for both the Bonner County Prosecutor’s Office and the defense agreed that a trial for the case — should one need to be scheduled after Carpenter’s plea — will likely take an entire week. Dates for the trial are yet to be finalized.
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