Nori Jones | Facebook
POCATELLO — It has been nearly 20 years since co-workers of Nori Jones found the 25-year-old dead in her home.
Jones was stabbed more than 20 times while also suffering slash wounds to the throat, according to Sabrina Wilde-Pond. Not only did Wilde-Pond consider Jones her “best friend,” Jones was engaged to Wilde-Pond’s brother, Reo Wilde, at the time of the murder.
Wilde-Pond and her mother, Leta Wilde, say the Wilde family continues to wait for justice to be served.
Brad Compher, 48, was arrested 10 years after the murder when modern examination of DNA evidence found at the scene linked him to to the killing. He faces one count of first-degree murder and a deadly weapon enhancement.
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Since his arrest in 2014, a series of delays which included a determination of Compher’s mental aptitude has continued to push back a trial and, in the Wildes’ opinions, justice.
Wilde-Pond has regularly attended Compher’s hearings, including a preliminary hearing where she heard gruesome details surrounding the incident. And she told EastIdahoNews.com that, despite it being “really, really hard” having to relive the experience, she plans on attending the trial. If a guilty verdict is reached, she would like to give a victim impact statement on Jones’ behalf at sentencing.
“I know that, if the tables were turned, she would be there for me,” Wilde-Pond said through tears. “It’s the least I can do: to be there for her and do what she has always done for me.”
Leta has had a tougher time sitting through information discussed in court — like the fact that Jones suffered five separate fatal wounds the night of the attack.
“When you’ve been like a mother to someone for five years — and she busted through that door every day, two or three times — it’s hard to go on.”
Sabrina Wilde-Pond, left, and Leta Wilde. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com
Asked to describe Jones, Leta called her a happy person whom everyone loved.
“She was an amazing girl — kind to everybody,” she said. “Nori was a farm girl, she was tall and she was a strong, strong girl. … She was always happy — had the most contagious laugh. She always had a project going. … she was just so full of life.”
That contagious laugh was once described to the Wildes by a nearby farmer as one that kept him from needing a rooster — one that could be heard five acres away.
“She was one of those people. You won’t talk to anybody that can tell you anything bad about her,” Wilde-Pond added.
Jones’ willingness to accept anyone for who they were, Leta said, was evidenced by her chosen profession. At the time of her death, Jones was working for a job service agency that helped people recently released from jail or prison find employment.
Now, the Wildes are left wondering if that is how Jones initially came in contact with Compher.
She came in contact with other men the Wildes believed to be nefarious through her work, and on more than one occasion those men followed her.
“There was times when she was afraid,” Leta said.
Jones often stayed at the Wildes’ home, and she did so for several days leading up to her death. Leta said Jones only went home the night she was killed because she wasn’t feeling well.
Despite her job and those fears, Pocatello Police detectives, upon discovery of Jones’ body, immediately began investigating her significant other — Reo Wilde.
Leta recalls “all the officers on the force” coming to her home and refusing to allow anyone in or out. The officers told one family member that the home was a crime scene, Leta said.
“They persecuted him,” she added. “The Pocatello Police Department said, ‘He did it, we know he did it, we’ll get him.’”
After thorough investigation, including taking every pair of his shoes to compare with a bloody shoeprint found at the scene, Reo was dismissed as suspect.
He was not able to speak with EastIdahoNews.com, Wilde-Pond said, because he has been subpoenaed to provide witness testimony during the trial.
Brad Compher | Bannock County Jail
The brutal death of a person they considered family changed many aspects of the Wildes’ lives.
“To this day,” Wilde-Pond said, “us girls, in this family, are never alone.”
The murder has robbed the entire family of is sense of safety and security, she said. Wilde-Pond added that, while she was embarrassed to admit it, she was unable to sleep alone with quite some time. She said she would usually sleep on the floor at the foot of her parents’ bed.
Even now, 20 years later, she can’t bear to be alone.
Until Compher was arrested, Leta said her family did not allow any of the women to be alone. Even taking trash out to the street, she said, was a task that was done in pairs. Both women said if Compher is convicted and sentenced for the murder, it will probably help alleviate that.
Brad Compher at the time of his arrest in 2014
After 10 years of waiting, Compher’s trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 20. But issues he raised at a recent hearing could force further delay.
During a pretrial conference last month, Compher told District Judge Javier Gabiola that he was not happy with his legal representation. And though he stopped short of requesting a change of attorneys, he did suggest it several times, even saying at one point that he might be better off representing himself.
If a change of attorneys is necessary, the trial will be delayed significantly. A determination regarding Compher’s concerns will be made during a hearing Thursday morning.
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Leta said she has grown “uneasy” with each passing delay.
Wilde-Pond has a similar feeling, but said she will continue to remember her dear friend, and hopes her fellow Pocatello residents do the same.
“We loved her so much, she’ll always be a part of our family,” Wilde-Pond said of Jones. “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her.”
The post ‘She was an amazing girl — kind to everybody.’ Loved ones of Pocatello woman killed in 2004 wait for justice. appeared first on East Idaho News.