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Accused Teen Killer In North Idaho Moved Back To Juvenile Detention

Kootenai County Sheriff's Office

A north Idaho teenager accused of killing his father and brother is no longer being held in solitary confinement at an adult county jail.

A judge Tuesday approved an agreement allowing 15-year-old Eldon Samuel to be moved back to juvenile detention – overriding a previous judge’s decision.

Samuel’s return to a juvenile lock-up is a victory for his attorney and the ACLU of Idaho. They had argued Samuel’s confinement in a medical holding cell in the Kootenai County Jail violated his constitutional rights. Even the jail staff acknowledged it was not ideal.

But in early July a judge said he wasn’t willing to risk having Samuel around other youth given the violent nature of his alleged crimes. Now, another judge has approved an agreement between all the parties involved that allows Samuel to return to the juvenile facility to await trial. There he will have access to school and physical education as well as some contact with other juveniles.

Samuel is accused of using a handgun, a shotgun and a large knife to murder his father and brother last March. The family had just moved to Coeur d’Alene from California.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."