TRIAL GOES TO COURT TV

August 28, 2001 11:00 pm
COUGHT ON TAPE: Rex Morris of Boise videotapes the Liysa King-Northon trial in Enterprise in July for Court TV. (The Observer/GARY FLETCHER).
COUGHT ON TAPE: Rex Morris of Boise videotapes the Liysa King-Northon trial in Enterprise in July for Court TV. (The Observer/GARY FLETCHER).

By Gary Fletcher

Observer Staff Writer

ENTERPRISE The July murder trial in which a Bend woman eventually pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree manslaughter will be on television Thursday.

Wallowa County Circuit Court Judge Phillip Mendigurens office was notified that the Liysa King-Northon murder trial will be on the Court TV Pacific Coast feed from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Court TV is available on cable in Union County, but only on satellite in Wallowa County.

As a result of a plea bargain and after her trial began, King-Northon, 39, admitted that under an extreme emotional disturbance she intentionally shot her husband, Christopher James Northon, in the head with her .38-caliber revolver. Northon was in his sleeping bag at Shady Campground 17 miles south of Lostine when the shooting occurred.

Mendiguren sentenced King-Northon to 12 1/2 years in prison. She was credited for the months she spent in the Union County Jail from the time she was arrested for the Oct. 9 death of her Hawaiian Airlines pilot husband until her July 19 sentencing. Some good time credit might also be earned, but Measure 11 requires that she serve a minimum of 10 years.

The trial, scheduled to last one week, took a surprise turn on the third afternoon when Mendiguren cleared the courtroom to consider a defense motion to suppress new evidence.

On the fourth day, the courtroom was similarly cleared several times, finally reconvening at 2 p.m.

An anonymous call had been received July 18 by state attorney generals office prosecutor Steven Briggs, informing him of the location of King-Northons missing computer, reportedly in Connecticut.

The computer files reportedly contained e-mail information about King-Northon trying to obtain Valium. A great deal of that type of sedative was found in the victims system, a pathology expert testified.

King-Northon also reportedly had written three screenplays about an airline pilots abused wife who purchased life insurance on her spouse, then killed him.