Jury finds Jonathan Renfro, man accused of killing police sergeant, guilty of first degree murder

KREM 2's Amanda Roley reports on how a jury found Jonathan Renfro guilty in the murder of Sgt. Moore, after a shooting two years ago in Coeur d'Alene. (10-13-17)

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – Friday morning a jury found Jonathan Renfro guilty of first degree murder in the death of Coeur d'Alene Police Sgt. Greg Moore. 

In May 2015, Moore stopped Jonathan Renfro while walking through a Coeur d’Alene neighborhood that had become the victim of recent car burglaries. Investigators said Renfro pulled out a gun, shot Moore, took the officer’s gun and then sped off in his car.

It only took the jury Thursday afternoon and Friday morning to decide Renfro’s fate after hearing closing arguments from both sides.

Prosecutors argued Thursday that Renfro had shot Moore to avoid going back to prison. The defense said Renfro had no intent to kill Moore, but did intend to shoot his bulletproof vest out of fear.

Renfro’s attorneys argued the investigation is skewed and the jury should not rely on conclusions from the state. They maintained Moore bumped Renfro’s hand, causing him to shoot the officer in the face instead of the vest.

Jurors had to decide between the following charges: first degree murder, second degree murder or voluntary manslaughter. The jury found him guilty of first degree murder, as well as removing a firearm from a police officer, concealing a firearm and a robbery.

Moore's family was in the courtroom to hear the decision.

 

 

After the court went into recess, the family of Moore hugged each other. They also thanked the prosecution, and declined to speak to the media.

When Renfro left the courthouse in handcuffs Friday afternoon, media asked if he had anything to say. In the video captured at the time, he appears to smirk, but stay silent.

In early September, Renfro pleaded guilty to grand theft and eluding a police officer. He did not plead guilty to the first degree murder charge he also faces. Sentencing for the two charges he pleaded guilty to will happen now that the murder trial is over. 

Previously, Renfro’s lawyers had argued  because of all the publicity the crime got, it would not be a fair trial if held in Kootenai County. The murder and the community’s reaction dominated local headlines for days after the crime. Even now, many people have stickers with Moore’s call sign on their cars in northern Idaho.

Friday concludes the "guilt" phase of the murder trial. On Monday, the same jury will return to court to begin the "aggravating" phase.

Prior to the trial, prosecution filed a motion with the intent to seek the death penalty. In order for that sentence to be on the table, they will need to prove in the second phase of the trial that Renfro has potential to commit another murder.

They will be using evidence from Renfro's time in jail, along with evidence already admitted into the trial.

This story has been updated.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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