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Family offers reward in 3-year-old murder case

Hagadone News Network | March 9, 2023 1:00 AM

BONNERS FERRY — Sunday will mark the third year to the day since chiropractor Dr. Brian Drake was murdered after an assailant shot him through his office window.

For the Drake family, March 12 signifies yet another year without justice — and without the husband, father and son.

“It is beyond my comprehension that three years later we are still waiting for justice in my husband’s murder,” said Jennifer Drake. “I have four teenagers between the ages of 13-19 who’ve missed out on their dad at the dinner table, at their athletic events, at every birthday, graduation and holiday. Brian will never walk our daughter down the aisle or hold his grandchildren in his arms. This daily void reminds us constantly of the gross injustice. We have no closure, and I will continue to work until we do.”

That includes offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Drake’s killer. The reward is funded by a family friend, who is frustrated by the lack of movement in the case.

Drake’s family and friends said they believe the community at large has a right to see his killer is put behind bars. They are seeking more information to corroborate what they already know.

“What people should understand is that there is still a murderer in their midst. My husband was killed by a man who is walking among us every day. This is wrong,” Jennifer Drake said.

Part of the campaign, Justice for Brian Drake, involves a billboard, south-facing on highway I-95. The hope is for someone to come forward with information leading to the arrest and conviction of Dr. Drake’s killer. The JusticeforBrianDrake.com site is live with the telephone tip-line number and email.

The message they want to send is clear, the Drake family said: They will never give up.

“This is about standing up for my husband — and if I don't, no one else will. My children and the Bonners Ferry community deserve to know the truth. I will not quit until the truth is known and there is justice. We ask the good people in this community to step forward and do what is right,” Drake said.

Due to its ongoing investigation, the Bonner Ferry Police Department is not commenting on the case or on the family's efforts.

On Aug. 27, 2020, Daniel L. Moore, 63, of Bonners Ferry was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Moore confessed to the murder while being interviewed by Bonners Ferry Police officers. Once in court, the evidence was suppressed due to arguments that the confession was done under police coercion.

The case was dismissed and later went under appeal at the Idaho Supreme Court. The Idaho Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling that Moore’s confession is inadmissible and can’t be used to establish their case. However, the Court reversed the ruling that the confession would also be inadmissible for impeachment purposes if the state ever refiles charges against Moore because his confession was not coerced and involuntary.

Justices noted in their decision that “[a]n illegally obtained confession should not give a defendant license to perjure himself at trial,” unless “coercion is found.”

The court affirmed the district court’s decision granting the motion to dismiss pursuant to Idaho Code section 19-815A. The court noted that if the state refiled the murder charge against Moore, his confession could be only used for impeachment purposes if Moore testifies and denies committing the crime.