In an newly-released Pocatello police interview, 18 year-old murder suspect Dustin Alfaro of Yuba County, CA again blamed 17 year-old Isaac Rodriguez-Romero, also from California, for the March 19 stabbing and killing of 87 year-old Arlyne Koehler.
The interview between Alfaro and Pocatello detectives Richard Sampson and Niko Gordon was introduced as evidence during the second day of Alfaro's preliminary hearing Wednesday in the Bannock County Courthouse.
Bannock County Prosecutor Steve Herzog allowed KPVI to look at the interview transcript Thursday.
Both Alfaro and Rodriguez-Romero are charged with first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in Mrs. Koehler's death. According to witness testimony, Mrs. Koehler's bloody body was found in her McKinley Avenue home in Pocatello by her son-in-law Don Stallsmith.
In the interview with detectives, Alfaro says he and Rodriguez-Romero were in Rigby on March 19 visiting a friend named "Zack". Alfaro says he got drunk and did "coke" before passing out in the passenger seat of a car driven by Rodriguez-Romero.
When he woke up, Alfaro says Rodriguez-Romero had stopped in what turned out to be Pocatello.
According to Alfaro, the two then formed a plan: "The plan was we at least gonna pull up to some house get into it before we go back to Cali". However, Alfaro also said several times throughout the interview that there was no plan.
Alfaro says the two decided to rob a home in Idaho because nobody in the state knows them, and they believed they wouldn't get caught.
He explained they chose Mrs. Koehler's home because the lights were out and there was no car in the driveway.
Next, Alfaro admits to removing the screen off a back window and climbing into the home with Rodriguez-Romero.
From there, Alfaro says, "He [Rodriguez-Romero] started stabbing. Like I heard screaming and stuff," and "I pushed him off her [Mrs. Koehler]."
Alfaro then tells detectives Rodriguez-Romero said, "She's dead. We better go." Alfaro also describes punching Rodriguez-Romero in the arm and saying, "Why'd you do that?"
Detectives also questioned Alfaro about a cut on Rodriguez-Romero's hand and the weapon used to stab Mrs. Koehler. Alfaro described the weapon as a "big-ass kitchen knife" and said Rodriguez-Romero told him he got the cut when "the knife slipped." Alfaro claims he doesn't know where the weapon ended up after the stabbing.
When asked how much Rodriguez-Romero was bleeding, Alfaro answered, "A lot. Squirtin'".
A photo of Rodriguez-Romero's cut hand was entered into evidence during day one of Alfaro's preliminary hearing Tuesday. Prosecutors say that cut may have been the source of some of the bleeding found in and around Mrs. Koehler's home.
While Alfaro doesn't admit to participating in Mrs. Koehler's murder, a witness testified Tuesday that he admitted to the crime. The young woman, who says she was a friend of Alfaro's from California, says Alfaro Facebook video-called her on the night of the murder. Media were asked by prosecutors not to name this witness.
According to this witness, during the video call, Alfaro showed her his bloody hands and said they had "hit a lick", which is slang for robbery, and that they had "killed a lady". The witness also says Alfaro threatened her after hearing she had alerted Pocatello police.
The woman also testified that she saw Alfaro in the days after he returned to California. She described his clothes as "bloody."
In the interview with police detectives, Alfaro says Rodriguez-Romero burned their bloody clothes.
Toward the end of the interview, Alfaro said he didn't think he should be "in here on murder" but says he could be charged with robbery. Neither Alfaro nor Rodriguez-Romero were charged with robbery, and a Pocatello police witness says Mrs. Koehler's home was not ransacked.
In further discussions with detectives, Alfaro said he has "a good heart", and said, "We're kids, bro", referring to himself and Rodriguez-Romero.
Alfaro will be arraigned in District Court on Monday, Sep. 9 at 2:00 p.m. by Judge Robert C. Naftz.