Jerome Man Convicted for Wife’s Death will Get New Trial
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) A Jerome man found guilty of murdering his ex–wife 30 years ago has been granted a new trial. This, coming after new evidence has been presented alleging there might have been some wrong–doing on behalf of local law enforcement during the investigation. Jaimi Dean Charboneau was convicted of shooting his ex wife, Marilyn Arbaugh on July 1st of 1985.
Since then, Charboneau has been serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Now, new evidence has emerged and 5th District Judge Robert Elgee has ordered a new trial. The main piece of evidence leading to this new trial comes in the form of a letter allegedly written in 1989 from Tira Arbaugh, the daughter of Marilyn Arbaugh.
In the letter, Arbaugh wrote that prosecutors told her to lie and conceal evidence and that she did not tell the truth when she testified at Charboneau's trial. Tira Arbaugh, who is now deceased, allegedly wrote the letter to the court where Charboneau was convicted.
However, the letter did not become known to Charboneau until 2011. Elgee ruled earlier in the case that state officials either "intentionally of inadvertently" withheld the letter from Charboneau for 21 years. Charboneau admits to shooting Arbaugh, but says he did not fire the fatal shot.
Idaho’s First News spoke with family members of the victim regarding this new evidence being brought to light. They say the letter is a forgery with glaring mistakes. And they are in disbelief of the court’s decision.