COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) - Eldon Gale Samuel III is housed in an individual cell at the Kootenai County Jail.
The 14-year-old is accused of the March 24 deaths of his father, Eldon G. Samuel, Jr., 46, and his younger brother, Jonathan, 13.
Police investigators say Samuel confessed to using multiple weapons in the killings. The Coeur d'Alene boy is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and is being tried for the crimes as an adult.
State statute requires that Samuel be segregated from the rest of the adult prison population. Every day he is allotted one hour of time outside his cell for exercise and showering.
If the pale-skinned, skinny Samuel is found guilty of the killings, he could receive the same sentence as four other Idaho youths previously convicted as adults for murder: life in prison without parole.
The Coeur d’Alene Press reports (http://bit.ly/1hvqiiz ) that Idaho is one of four states that ban defendants from using insanity as a criminal defense.
Ethan Windom lived alone with his mother, Judith, in Boise and in 2006 was diagnosed as suffering from anxiety and a major depressive disorder. The then 16-year-old was, according to court documents, fascinated by serial killers and modeled his day-to-day life after the protagonist of the movie ‘American Psycho.’
On Jan. 24, 2007, Windom experienced a strong urge to kill, and took five times his normal dose of anti-anxiety medication. According to court documents, he first considered finding “bums” to kill, but was afraid his mom would stop him.
Instead of finding “bums,” the 17-year-old fashioned a club out of weights and a dumbbell. With the improvised club and two knives in hand, he went into his mother’s bedroom and killed her.
Shortly after the murder, Windom was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. The charge was eventually changed to second-degree murder in exchange for a guilty plea.
During sentencing remarks in Windom’s trial, Ada County District Judge Cheri Copsey said she had considered the nature of the offense, the teen’s mental health issues, his youth and lack of criminal record prior to issuing her decision.
“And I have to say it is the most difficult case I have ever had,” Copsey said. “Ever. It will haunt me forever. Not just the pictures of the crime scene and what you did to your mom, but the entirety of the case.”
Ultimately, according to court documents, Copsey determined that imposing a fixed life sentence was “appropriate” given the “brutal” and “heinous” nature of the murder.
In September 2003, Diane and Alan Scott Johnson were shot to death with a high-powered rifle in their home in Bellevue, a town in central Idaho. A month later, their daughter, 16-year-old Sarah Johnson, was arrested and charged with the murders. After a jury trial, Johnson was found guilty of both first-degree murders and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Cassie Jo Stoddart, 17, was stabbed to death in 2006 at a Pocatello home where she was house-sitting. Five days later, 16-year-olds Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik were arrested and charged with the murders. The teens video-taped themselves planning the crime. They were both found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole.