Idaho Department of Correction hopes to build new women’s prison

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports  For the first time in more than a decade, with the support of the governor, the Idaho Department of Correction is asking lawmakers for funding to build a new prison. On Tuesday, IDOC Director Josh Tewalt pitched his $333 million budget request to the Joint Finance Appropriation Committee, outlining someContinue reading “Idaho Department of Correction hopes to build new women’s prison”

Governor denies Commission-recommended mercy for man on death row

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole voted 4-3 to recommend commutation and grant a plea for mercy from Gerald Pizzuto Jr., who’s been on death row for more than 35 years.  However, Gov. Brad Little denied the commission’s recommendation, calling Pizzuto’s 1985 crimes brutal and senseless. The commission heldContinue reading “Governor denies Commission-recommended mercy for man on death row”

Untested rape kit backlog in Idaho cleared after 5 years

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports It took five years, but the Idaho State Police Forensic Services lab has tested the last previously untested sexual assault kit in Idaho. The final test came after 2016 legislation, pitched by Sen. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, identified a backlog of not just untested sexual assault kits, but kits that hadn’tContinue reading “Untested rape kit backlog in Idaho cleared after 5 years”

Pizzuto asks for mercy in death row hearing

by Ruth Brown and Logan Finney, Idaho Reports Gerald Pizzuto Jr., 65, has been on death row in Idaho for more than 35 years after he was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. The Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole met Tuesday to consider commuting his sentence from death to life in prison afterContinue reading “Pizzuto asks for mercy in death row hearing”

Ex-legislator accused of rape pleads not guilty

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports District Judge Michael Reardon accepted a not guilty plea Monday in the case involving a former legislator accused of raping a legislative intern.  Aaron von Ehlinger, 39, of Juliaetta, is charged on accusations of rape and forcible penetration with a foreign object, both felony charges.  He pleaded not guilty toContinue reading “Ex-legislator accused of rape pleads not guilty”

ISP will request funding more troopers for capitol after increased threats

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The Idaho State Police will ask the Legislature to provide funding for additional police to protect the Capitol complex and state-owned buildings. The additional request for fiscal year 2023, costing roughly $2.6 million, comes from ISP to pay for 12 full-time permanent positions in the capitol protective services unit. TheContinue reading “ISP will request funding more troopers for capitol after increased threats”

Idaho Supreme Court hears execution procedure arguments in death row case

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports On Monday, the Idaho Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Gerald Pizzuto Jr., who narrowly avoided execution this summer. Pizzuto, 65, has been on death row in Idaho for more than 35 years after he was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in Idaho County. Pizzuto’s attorneyContinue reading “Idaho Supreme Court hears execution procedure arguments in death row case”

Update: Ex-legislator’s criminal case moves forward after rape accusation

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports Editor’s note: This story may be disturbing to some readers due to discussion of alleged sexual violence. Ada County Magistrate Judge Kira Dale on Friday heard evidence in the case of the former Idaho legislator accused of sexually assaulting a legislative intern. The judge moved his case forward to DistrictContinue reading “Update: Ex-legislator’s criminal case moves forward after rape accusation”

IDOC replaces prison health care provider

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports As coronavirus continues to rage across Idaho’s unvaccinated population, the Idaho Department of Correction has changed health care providers. IDOC is responsible for the health care of roughly 8,000 people in the department’s custody. For more than 10 years, the department contracted with Corizon Health. Corizon was established in 2011,Continue reading “IDOC replaces prison health care provider”

Von Ehlinger makes first Idaho court appearance

By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports The former legislator accused of raping a 19-year-old legislative intern appeared in front of an Idaho judge for the first time Wednesday morning. Ada County Magistrate Judge John Hawley scheduled Aaron von Ehlinger’s preliminary hearing for Oct. 29 during a brief virtual hearing. Von Ehlinger, 39, of Juliaetta, faces chargesContinue reading “Von Ehlinger makes first Idaho court appearance”