Daniel Moore has been charged with second degree murder in connection with the death of 45-year-old Brian Drake, a fellow chiropractor.
BONNERS FERRY, Idaho – The second-degree murder case against Daniel Lee Moore has been dismissed, KREM 2 news partner Coeur d’Alene / Post Falls Press reported.
The 63-year-old Moore was charged with the fatal shooting of Brian Drake on March 12, 2020. After First District Court judge Barbara Buchanan ruled in mid-April to decline to review Moore’s previous suppression of a confession, defense attorney Katherine Bolton filed a motion to dismiss her client on April 14.
Moore was charged with second degree murder and the use of a lethal weapon in the commission of a crime related to the fatal shooting of Drake on March 12, 2020 on Thursday, August 27, 2020.
Prosecutors alleged Moore deliberately, but not deliberately, murdered Brian Drake with a pistol and shot him through a window, which hit Drake in the back.
Moore was released on bail on October 13, 2020 and resumed operations at his chiropractic clinic. In a November post on his clinic’s Facebook page, Moore said he valued the love and support for his family and proclaimed his innocence.
“Although I cannot go into the details of my case right now, I can say this: I am innocent of all charges.” Moore wrote.
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The trial was scheduled to begin April 12, but was postponed when the trial was relocated to Kootenai County after Bolton requested a prosecutor-accepted move. A first hearing for the jury should begin on September 7th.
In her motion to dismiss the case, Bolton said prosecutors relied solely on the now-suppressed confession to determine a likely cause and that additional evidence was lacking to support Moore’s indictment.
“The district court must dismiss a criminal complaint if it finds that the defendant has been compelled to answer for no probable reason,” argued Bolton, adding that the state has not met even the minimum standard for indicting anyone in a criminal case.
In her decision, Buchanan agreed, stating that “there is no admissible evidence on file to prove that Moore committed the crime for which he is charged”.
Boundary County’s Assistant Attorney General Tevis Hull asked the court on February 26 to reconsider the suppression of Moore’s confession, as it was voluntary and not the result of coercion. Nevertheless, the request for re-examination was rejected in April.
Prosecutors also asked the court to use the alleged confession for impeachment purposes in the trial. However, both applications were rejected by the court.
“The court upheld its finding that the accused’s alleged confession was involuntary and the result of police coercion,” Buchanan said in her verdict.
The length of Moore’s imprisonment and the “repetitive and persistent nature of his interrogation [Bonners Ferry] Deputy Police Commissioner Marty Ryan “were instrumental in the decision to continue the suppression of evidence.
In deciding not to undo the repression of Moore’s confession, Buchanan said she was considering additional findings such as Miranda warnings, Moore’s age, educational level, and whether Moore was deprived of food or sleep during his questioning.
“In view of the totality of the circumstances, this court finds that Moore’s will was exaggerated by the police ambushing and encroachment so that his waiver of his Miranda right to legal advice was not knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently,” she said in the ruling .
The decision revealed that the confession was a product of police coercion and was also involuntary, establishing that Moore had been in police custody from the beginning of his interview with Idaho State Police.
The court also found that asking the state to use the alleged confession would violate Moore’s constitutional rights. “The fifth and fourteenth amendments provide that no one in criminal proceedings should be compelled to testify against themselves.”
These decisions formed the basis for Wednesday’s decision to dismiss the Moore case.
Moore is also involved in a civil lawsuit filed against the Drake family, with each side accusing each other of motives for Brian Drake’s death. In addition, many of the documents are now sealed.
According to the District Court records, Drake’s lawsuit states: “This lawsuit is being brought to defend and indemnify the family of Brian Drake, whose life was taken by Daniel L. Moore on the night of March 12, 2020.”
The counterclaim denies Daniel Moore’s confession to law enforcement, stating that Drake’s lawsuit misrepresents his interactions with law enforcement on August 27, 2020. It is said that Daniel Moore never met, killed Brian Drake and had no motive to kill him.
An appeal is available to the Idaho Supreme Court but is unlikely due to the precedent behind the dismissal motion.
Attorney General Tevis Hull was not available for comment at the time of publication.
The Coeur d’Alene / Post Falls Press is a KREM 2 news partner. You can find more information from our news partner here.