ASOTIN — A Clarkston man accused of killing his girlfriend is set to go on trial May 24-28 in Asotin County Superior Court.
John C. Weber, 54, has denied any wrongdoing in the death of Kym Berreman, 50, who was pronounced dead March 7, after a suicide was reported at their residence on the 1100 block of Fifth Street in Clarkston.
The defendant, who is charged with second-degree murder and tampering with evidence, appeared in court Monday for his latest hearing. His attorneys also filed a motion to suppress evidence, saying the state exceeded the scope of a search warrant in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.
Weber’s counsel said the police did not have the authorization to collect hand swabs from their client, based on the specific requests outlined in a search warrant signed by Judge Tina Kernan, and any evidence obtained from his hands should be suppressed. The state will have an opportunity to respond to the motion.
Weber, who is represented by attorneys Mark Monson, of Moscow, and James Grow, of Lewiston, remains in custody at the Asotin County Jail on a $1 million bond. Prosecutor Ben Nichols is handling the case on behalf of the state, and Superior Court Judge Brooke Burns will preside at the trial.
Police suspected foul play when they investigated the scene, which appeared to be staged to look like a suicide, according to the probable cause affidavit. Weber, who works at the Asotin County Regional Landfill, is a former volunteer Clarkston firefighter, but he didn’t provide any life-saving measures on his girlfriend, police said in court documents, and no blood was found on her right hand.
Monson said police rushed to arrest his client, prior to a complete investigation and autopsy results, which indicated emergency responders and officers were initially wrong about which side of Berreman’s head the bullet entered.
Nichols told the court the evidence will support the state’s charges and demonstrate what happened to Berreman inside the Clarkston residence.
The jury trial is expected to take a week.
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