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Supreme Court rules on Moore murder confession

August 31, 2022

Dr. Dan Moore
The Idaho Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling today on the dismissal of murder charges against Bonners Ferry chiropractor Daniel Moore based on the admissibility of a coerced confession, affirming that Idaho First Judicial District Judge Barbara Buchanan was correct in dismissing the case, but that she erred in ruling that Moore's confession was involuntary and inadmissible for impeachment purposes.

"Dr. Daniel Lee Moore , a chiropractor in Bonner Ferry, was charged with second-degree murder for the 2020 shooting of Dr. Brian Drake, also a chiropractor in Bonners Ferry," supreme court staff wrote in a summary statement not part of the 23-page opinion of the court, but prepared for the convenience of the public. "Drake was shot in the back through a window while sitting in his office talking to his wife on the phone at the end of the day.

"During a police interrogation of Moore, he invoked his right to an attorney at least three times; however, his requests were ignored and the interrogation continued.

"Moore eventually confessed to the crime.

"Following a defense motion, the district court suppressed the confession for all purposes after finding that Moore’s Miranda rights had been violated. The district court later dismissed the case, concluding that because the State had relied on the tainted confession in the preliminary hearing, there was insufficient evidence to support a showing of probable cause.

"The State appealed from the district court’s decision dismissing its case against Moore.

"The Idaho Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling that Moore’s confession is inadmissible in the State’s case-in-chief; however, the Court reversed the ruling that the confession would also be inadmissible for impeachment purposes because his confession was not coerced and involuntary. The Court noted that 'an illegally obtained confession should not give a defendant license to perjure himself at trial,' unless 'coercion is found.'

"The Court affirmed the district court’s decision granting the motion to dismiss pursuant to Idaho Code section 19-815A. The Court noted that if the State refiled the murder charge against Moore, his confession could only be used for impeachment purposes if Moore testifies and denies committing the crime."

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Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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