Upcoming Lankford murder trial will not reference previous convictions

A twice convicted north central Idaho murderer won’t face references to his previous sentences, past criminal allegations or his three decades of incarceration during his upcoming trial.

Nez Perce County 2nd District Court Judge Jay Gaskill ruled on several motions Tuesday to determine what will, and what won’t, be introduced to jurors at the September trial of Mark Lankford in Canyon County.

Lankford was originally convicted in 1984 for the beating deaths U.S. Marine Capt. Robert Bravence and his wife, Cheryl, and dumping the couple’s bodies in the Idaho County backcountry. Lankford won an appeal, was retried and convicted, only to win a second appeal several years later. The Idaho Supreme Court overturned his 2008 conviction after it was learned Idaho County Prosecutor Kirk MacGregor failed to inform defense attorneys the full details of a deal he made with an incarcerated witness in exchange for testifying against Lankford.

The trial is scheduled to last three weeks beginning Sept. 3. (Lewiston Tribune)

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