A 29-year-old northern Idaho man authorities say shot and killed three people and wounded another has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery.
MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — A 29-year-old northern Idaho man who authorities say shot and killed three people and wounded another has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery.
John Lee of Moscow made the plea Tuesday in 2nd District Court in Latah County.
Police say that Lee on Jan. 10 shot and killed his adoptive mother, his landlord and a fast-food restaurant manager in the northern Idaho community of Moscow. Authorities haven’t provided a possible motive.
Lee after the shootings drove eight miles west to Pullman, Washington, and led police on a pursuit that hit speeds exceeding 100 mph before crashing and being arrested, authorities said.
Most Read Local Stories
- There are sprouts of hope in downtown Seattle, but they are wilting
- 1 killed near Cal Anderson Park; 9 wounded in Seattle-area night of gun violence
- Murder-suicide ended Port Orchard shootout, troopers say
- Woman killed by light-rail train at Mount Baker Station
- Vessel carrying 2,600 gallons of fuel, oil sinks near San Juan Island
In Washington, he faced felony eluding charges. But those counts were dropped, and he was extradited to Idaho to face the more serious charges.
On the day of the shootings, officers found landlord David Trail, 76, with gunshot wounds at a financial services office. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. A Seattle man, Michael Chin, was wounded while in the office with Trail.
Belinda Niebuhr, 47, an Arby’s manager, was discovered in a restaurant parking lot with gunshot wounds and pronounced dead at a hospital.
Moscow police doing a welfare check on Lee’s parents then found his mother, Terri Grzebielski, 61, dead of gunshot wounds.
Chin has said he believes Lee wasn’t trying to kill him but shot him in the leg and arm so Lee could continue with his plan.
Niebuhr tried to escape by jumping out a drive-thru window before being shot and killed, court documents say. Police found Niebuhr lying in the parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Two women inside the restaurant told detectives they saw a man matching Lee’s description walk in and ask for the manager. Niebuhr came out of the back to speak with him.
One witness told officers she heard the man say: “Do you remember me?” before pulling the trigger of his gun.
The gun clicked and didn’t fire the first few times, a witness told officers. Niebuhr ran and dove out the drive-thru window, but she was followed and shot several times, documents said.
Jury selection for Lee’s trial is scheduled to begin May 2. Lee is being held in the Latah County Jail without bond.