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Probable cause found for first-degree stalking

by ANNISA KEITH
Staff Writer | January 2, 2022 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — A Cocolalla man will progress through the court system for a charge of first-degree stalking.

Jason Daniel Moore, 39, was bound over for arraignment Wednesday by First District Magistrate Judge Justin Julian following an hour-long hearing.

Moore is detained at the Bonner County Jail on $100,000 bond. Moore faces charges in three criminal cases against the same victim for first- and second-degree stalking, unlawful entry, and no contact order violation.

Moore allegedly sent “a very concerning amount of text messages” to the victim from October through December, according to an affidavit of probable cause by Sandpoint Police Officer Zachary Fisher.

In addition to unwanted communications, Moore entered the victim’s house on two separate occasions, and in another instance Moore was caught on video sneaking into the victim’s back yard.

Moore’s preliminary hearing was largely spent questioning the victim and law enforcement.

“I am not of the technology generation,” Julian said. “But even I know how to block a phone number on my cellphone. So why didn’t you just block whatever numbers he was using?”

“If you’ve never been in a predator-type situation, it’s better to know where they’re at than not know,” the victim responded. “It was to help not being caught off-guard.”

Moore and the victim met in August and shared a brief romantic relationship. The relationship ended after a month, which is when the unwanted communication began, according to testimony from the victim at Wednesday’s hearing.

According to court records, Moore followed the victim and her two children to a pumpkin patch on Oct. 16 where he “tried to force his presence with them for the event.”

Eleven days later, on Oct. 27, Moore was caught on video sneaking into the victim’s back yard where he remained for an unknown amount of time.

Two days later, Moore intercepted the victim while she was dropping her children off at school and attempted to interact with her.The victim fled to her parent’s house afterward because she had not given Moore the address. However, the victim observed Moore’s vehicle drive past the residence an hour after she arrived.

Three days later on Nov. 1, the victim and a friend were running an errand in downtown Sandpoint when the victim observed Moore’s vehicle, causing the victim to panic. The pair went to leave, only to find Moore parked beside the victim’s vehicle. He tried to initiate conversation, mentioning that he was in love with the victim and that the two would die together.

The next day on Nov. 2, the victim was awakened by Moore’s dog in her house. The victim grabbed a loaded gun and walked to the kitchen where she found Moore preparing coffee. She told him to leave, and he complied.

A no contact order was issued on Nov. 3 against Moore. He was charged with a count of unlawful entry and second-degree stalking with a warrant of $20,000.

Moore was arrested on Nov. 9, but bailed out that same day.

Moore violated the no contact order on Nov. 23 by entering the victim’s house through the back door. The victim called law enforcement, and Moore was arrested on a charge of violating the no contact order.

Five days later, Moore bailed out of jail.

On Dec. 17, Moore violated the no contact order again, although details could not be found in court documents. Bonner County Deputy Prosecutor Joshua Smith asked the court to revoke Moore’s bond, citing his escalating behavior could result in death or great bodily harm to the victim and her children.

Instead of revoking bond, First District Magistrate Judge Lori Meulenberg increased the amount to $100,000.

Moore was arrested three days later on Dec. 20

Julian had to define terms such as “substantial emotional distress,” and “course of conduct” during Wednesday’s hearing in order to determine if the state had met its burden for probable cause on the first-degree stalking charge.

“It’s not necessarily the content of the communication that controls the analysis, but a reference to course of conduct.”

Julian then defined the legal term for the court.

“Course of conduct means repeated acts of non consensual conduct involving the victim or family members.” Julian said. “The course of conduct is not simply one or two or three texts or voicemails or phone calls. But it’s a conduct of almost countless texts, voicemails, phone calls.”

“It’s not what’s in each of them that matters. It’s the enormity of the every, single, day, before the no contact order, on the day of the no contact order, after the no contact order. It only stops on Mr. Moore’s arrest when he becomes physically incapable of continuing that communication.”

Moore was taken back into custody after the hearing. Arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 18.

The victim found a cellphone belonging to Moore tucked between the back seats of her vehicle, leading law enforcement to believe that Moore was tracking her whereabouts.

Moore is being charged with felony stalking due to his repetitive violations of the no contact order. The victim alleges that Moore’s actions caused her to lose employment.

In Idaho, stalking is defined as a form of malicious harassment. Those who feel that they are victims of stalking should document the instances and report them to Bonner County Dispatch at 208-265-5525. In a timely emergency, call 911. Bonner County has a hotline for those who wish to track the status of an incarcerated person. Victim Information and Notification Everyday can be reached by calling 1-866-984-6343 or visiting their website at vinelink.com

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