Murder suspect imprisoned on eluding charge

Print Article

James Costello Sr.

COEUR d’ALENE — A Cocolalla man awaiting trial for second-degree murder in Bonner County was ordered on Wednesday to serve up to three years in prison in a felony eluding case in Kootenai County.

James Michael Costello Sr.’s arrest for drunken driving and eluding led to the discovery of his adult son’s body in a converted bus they once shared in Cocolalla in November of last year. James Michael Costello Jr. died of a gunshot wound.

A Kootenai County jury convicted the elder Costello of a second-offense DUI and felony eluding in September.

At sentencing, Kootenai County Deputy Prosecutor Stanley Mortenson recommended a five-year term because Costello Sr. endangered the safety of a number of motorists on U.S. Highway 95. Speeds reached 90 mph and Costello’s GMC Sierra pickup truck was stopped when a law officer implemented a precision immobilization technique, according to court documents.

Public Defender Amanda Montalvo recommended a suspended prison term due to Costello’s advanced age, myriad health problems and the loss of all his possessions, court records indicate.

First District Judge Lansing Haynes expressed doubt that Costello would thrive on probation and was rated a high re-offense risk, court documents said. Haynes imposed a three-year term on the eluding charge, the first two years of which are fixed, records show.

Costello, 72, was given a 180-day jail term, but was given credit for 180 days of pretrial incarceration. Haynes also suspended Costello’s driving privileges for three years once he’s released by the Idaho Department of Correction.

Costello is accused of shooting his son to death with a .45-caliber pistol during an alcohol-fueled argument aboard the bus. In an audio recording culled from a video surveillance system aboard the bus, the younger Costello can be heard alternately threatening suicide and ordering his father to kill him. He is also heard threatening his father’s life.

“Get in my face and I will kill you,” the elder Costello warns his son in one of the recording’s final utterances.

The surveillance system was disabled immediately before the younger Costello was slain.

James Costello Sr. is scheduled to be tried in Bonner County next month.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

Print Article

Read More Local News

PSNI sets $1M goal for land, new building

November 17, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — After 45 years at the same location on North Boyer Avenue, the Panhandle Special Needs building is old and crumbling. Some might call it an eyesore. Patchwork, piecemeal and jerry-riggi...

Comments

Read More

North Idaho man is charged with attempted murder

November 17, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press A 32-year-old Hayden man is charged with one count of attempted murder after his arrest Thursday by a SWAT team for allegedly threatening to shoot his sister in the face at a residence on Hayden Lake...

Comments

Read More

City making progress on 20-year vision

November 17, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — The city’s comprehensive plan update is well underway as the community is helping to create the 20-year vision for Sandpoint. “This is a community-driven plan, so your input and partici...

Comments

Read More

‘Men of the Festival of Trees’ honored as its Angels

November 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee With all these volunteers do, Kinderhaven knew that they couldn’t pick just one Angel as the organization gets ready for its annual Festival of Trees. Instead, Kinderhaven selected the “Men of the F...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2019 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X