Funkhouser sentenced to life

BONNERS FERRY — A Boundary County man has been sentenced to life in prison for shooting and killing his former girlfriend in November.

John August Funkhouser, 62, of Moravia could be released after six years, but that will depend upon his willingness to admit his guilt in the murder of Anna Carina Jill Old, 45, and his behavior in prison when he goes before the Idaho Parole Board, said 1st District Court Judge John F. Mitchell during sentencing Monday.

“I do sense some remorse in your role of killing Anna Old,” Mitchell said, but he added that Funkhouser seemed more concerned with was going to happen to him than about Old’s death and his part in it.

“That’s disturbing,” the judge said.

Although Funkhouser seemed to imply that the gun he used to shoot Old was touchy and that he did not deliberately shoot her in the back of the neck — that she backed into him — were not borne out by forensics and ballistic tests, Mitchell said.

Funkhouser, who took the stand during the sentencing, but not at the trial, contended he fired the gun twice and that Old backed into him, causing it to fire.

“The evidence shows that you pulled the trigger,” Mitchell said.

He said there was no proof the gun was fired more than once that day.

Mitchell added Funkhouser knew the power of the pistol he “poked” against Old’s neck, since the defendant tried to shoot himself with it two weeks prior and had fired it at least 10 times before then.

If the gun had went off when Old backed into him as Funkhouser contended, forensics would have shown evidence of her being shot at point-blank range, the judge said, but added that the distance was proven to be further than that.

Funkhouser also said Old was suffering from a fatal illness, which was untrue based upon forensic pathology.

“I find you to not be credible,” Mitchell said.

Two different views about Funkhouser were presented by the defendant, letters in support of him by friends and family and a letter from Old’s mother, Jill Gunderson, which portrayed him as someone interested in his girlfriend’s money.

“The person who could shed the most light on this, you’ve killed,” Mitchell said.

He said Funkhouser did everything to try distract the court from the issue, including contending that prosecutor Tevis Hull had charged him with second-degree murder rather than a lesser charge, to accusing his attorney of poor representation when he chose to follow his brother George’s advise not to testify on his own behalf during the trial.

The judge sentenced Funkhouser to a fixed six years in prison to an indeterminate 30 years in prison.

He will be eligible for parole in five years because he has served almost a year in jail.

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