COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho -- Opening statements started Monday in the murder trial of a man accused of killing a Coeur d’Alene Police officer.
Officials said Jonathan Renfro killed Sergeant Greg Moore back in May of 2015 in Coeur d'Alene. Police said Moore pulled him over, then Renfro pulled out a gun and shot him. Renfro pleaded guilty earlier this month to eluding police and grand theft. He is going to be sentenced for those after the murder trial.
Prosecutors began Monday by describing to jurors the scene in which Renfro is accused of shooting and killing Sgt. Moore. In that description, the prosecution said Renfro was about two feet from Sgt. Moore when he shot him in the face.
Prosecutors urged the jury to watch the body camera footage closely to see just why Renfro should be found guilty of first degree murder. The prosecution explained to the jury it will present its case in four blocks including, witness testimony and evidence on the scene of the shooting, the flight of the defendant along with evidence from near Walmart where Renfro was apprehended, medical expert testimony and testimony and exhibits of Renfro's activities and statements from Renfro himself.
The prosecution also told the jury that the defense may use statements from Renfro where he blames a fictional person by the name of ‘Davis’ and that Renfro was only the ‘fall out guy.’
The defense began by saying Renfro did not intend to kill anyone and that he did not have a clear idea of what was happening because earlier that night he had done meth with a few friends. The defense added that the body camera on Sgt. Moore shows him bumping Renfro's right hand, which caused Renfro to shoot Moore in the face instead of the bullet proof vest he was wearing. The defense concluded by telling they jury they believe Renfro is not guilty of first degree murder but he is guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
After opening statements, prosecutors asked 10 different witnesses to the stand. During their testimony, prosecutors presented dash camera footage of responding officers, as well as footage from the body camera Sgt. Moore was wearing.
Before showing the body camera footage, prosecutors went on record for suggesting the family of Sgt. Moore not view the footage. But the family stayed and watched.
In the footage, you can see Renfro looking around quite a bit. Then, you could hear Sgt. Moore ask Renfro if he had anything on him that he should know about. Renfro said, "No, just a pack of cigarettes."
Then in a matter of seconds, you hear Sgt. Moore yell, then a gun shot. The body camera went black for several moments. Eventually, you would see Renfro shining a flashlight over Sgt. Moore and hear what sounds like Renfro patting Sgt. Moore down.
As the footage played, jurors kept their emotions to themselves. Family members of Sgt. Moore were seen holding each other and wiping away tears.
As for witness testimony, Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Lee White primarily spoke to Sgt. Moore's qualifications, and gave expert opinion on why Sgt. Moore would have approached Renfro. Jurors also heard from the dispatcher who tried to hold back tears as she recalled the moment when Sgt. Moore did not respond to her numerous attempts at checking if he was ok.
Renfro consistently appeared unmoved and emotionless while the videos were shown.