By RALPH BARTHOLDT
Coeur d’Alene police, prosecutors and family members of slain police Sgt. Greg Moore thanked the community Monday in a press conference after convicted killer Jonathan D. Renfro was sentenced to death in Coeur d’Alene’s First District Court.
Keeping in line with the verdict of the jury that recommended a death sentence for Renfro, who was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing Moore two years ago, District Judge Lansing Haynes imposed the death penalty. Haynes also meted out an additional sentence of life in prison without parole plus 19 years behind bars for convictions of robbery, eluding, taking a police officer’s firearm, concealing evidence, and grand theft, all felonies.
The final sentence included suspending Renfro’s driver’s license for three years — part of the penalty for eluding — which Haynes called trite, but a technical necessity.
As a matter of bookkeeping, Haynes also gave Renfro credit for the 915 days he has been incarcerated since his May 5, 2015, arrest.
Wearing shackles and red and white prison pajamas, a change from the 8-week trial proceedings in which the 29-year-old Renfro was allowed to wear a suit, the defendant showed little emotion at Monday’s hearing.
Monday’s sentencing put an end to the questions and the judicial process at least locally.
“It brings this chapter to a close,” Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said. “The difficult part is behind us, we can begin to move forward.”
The defense team has more than a month to start the appeal process, and deputy public defender Linda Payne said her office has already begun the paperwork to be replaced by a state public defender.
Because it is a capital case, the Idaho Supreme Court must review the court’s handling of the case before approving the ultimate sentence for Renfro.
One of the first steps to challenge the sentence’s finality is a filing for post-conviction relief to find fault in the proceedings, which could prompt a retrial.
In the meantime, family members including Lindy Moore and ex-wife Jennifer Brumley, thanked police and prosecutors for their support and their work in the case.
“Nothing can bring Greg back, but we feel justice has been served,” Lindy Moore said.
Brumley thanked the city, mayor and its council for the memorial built at McEuen Park in honor of the slain officer.
“We could not have asked to deal with such tragedy in a more compassionate place,” Brumley said.
White said he hoped Monday’s sentencing sends a message to criminals, and that he appreciated how the community rallied around the department and Moore’s family in the past 2 and a half years. His officers will continue their close relationship with Moore’s family.
“We stay in close contact with them.” he said. “Our relationship will continue beyond today.”
As the appeal process works its way through the courts, Renfro will be incarcerated at the Idaho maximum security institution south of Boise where he will join seven inmates on death row. Another Idaho death row inmate, a woman, is incarcerated at Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center.
Since Idaho adopted the death penalty in 1977, three inmates have been executed. Offenders under the sentence of death are kept in their cells 23 hours a day.