Coeur d'Alene Attorney Wants Teen's Confession of Killing Thrown Out


Kootenai County Public Defender John Adams has a laundry list of changes he wants made to the case against his client, a 15-year-old Coeur d'Alene boy accused of killing his father and brother in March.

According to the Spokesman-Review, Adams wants the judge to suppress everything that Eldon Gale Samuel III said to police after his arrest, including an alleged confession and gathered evidence. 

Adams claims Samuel was interrogated in such a way that produced involuntary statements. According to testimony in June, the teenager waived his right to talk to an attorney before confessing to police. Magistrate Judge Barry Watson said the officer never asked him if Samuel wanted an attorney, and added that he didn't understand some of the words investigators used in questioning. Also, Samuel's attorney wasn't allowed to see him when he first went to the police station. 

Samuel is accused of shooting his father, Eldon Samuel, Jr., 46, as well as shooting and stabbing his younger, disabled brother, Jonathan Samuel, in an emergency housing unit in Coeur d'Alene.

He told investigators his father fired a shot from a pistol outside the house, talked about zombies and acted crazy from the painkillers he was taking. He said his father pushed and hit him and he was afraid the elder Samuel would kill him. He told investigators he picked up the gun and shot his father in the stomach, but according to autopsy results, he was also shot in the face and head after he died. Samuel's younger brother was hiding under the bed, and died of multiple gunshot wounds as well as being stabbed and hacked with a machete. 

In testimony taken in June, Samuel said he "hated Jonathan for about five years," and said he did it because "if he wasn't there ... we'd be a happy family." He blamed his mother's absence and his father's addiction to painkillers on the stress of having a disabled child.
Samuel was charged with second-degree murder in his father's death and first-degree murder in his brother's, but along with requesting to have the confession thrown out, his attorney is also asking the court for a jury pool from an outside the county, arguing that Samuel won't have a fair trial with local jurors who have been tainted by media coverage. He is also taking on Idaho's ban on the insanity defense, as well as a state law that requires defendants over the age of 14 charged with murder to be tried as adults and subject to adult sentences.

The judge entered a non-guilty plea at his arraignment and Samuel is currently being held in the county's juvenile detention facility.