E. Idaho man convicted of killing in tavern parking lot
POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — An eastern Idaho man has been convicted for the second time in the 2009 beating death of a Pocatello bar bouncer.
The Idaho State Journal reports that a Bannock County jury on Friday found 64-year-old Martin Edmo Ish guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the death of 56-year-old Eugene Lorne Red Elk.
The case had gone cold but was reopened in 2015 after Jennifer Teton, Ish’s cousin, reported that Ish on the morning of June 14, 2009, told her he “popped” Red Elk. She also said Ish told her that Red Elk “didn’t look too tough” lying unresponsive in the Duffy’s Tavern parking lot. Red Elk died three days later.
Ish was convicted in 2017 of manslaughter in the killing Red Elk by striking him in the head in the parking lot of Duffy’s Tavern.
That conviction was overturned by the Idaho Supreme Court last year over concerns about the justifications prosecutors provided in disqualifying a potential juror.
Heather Davis, who lived across the street from the tavern, said she saw Red Elk in the parking lot shouting at someone, “I thought I told you to leave.” She said she heard a loud cracking sound and saw Lorne lying in the parking lot and a man fleeing.
Her description of the fleeing man didn’t match Ish when interviewed by police at the time. During last week’s trial, she testified she later learned it was Ish in the parking lot, and he threatened her if she talked about what she saw.
“I’m really happy for the Red Elk family again and very appreciative of some witnesses where it was difficult for them to participate,” said Bannock County Prosecutor Steve Herzog.
Bannock County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Godfrey told jurors there was only circumstantial evidence, with no weapon connected to the attack. Ish’s defense attorneys declined to comment about the outcome of the case.
Ish is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 23 for sentencing. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
This story has been corrected to note that Bannock County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Godfrey said the case was circumstantial, not defense attorneys.