Witness in Boise murders points out shooter

Attorney Jack McMahon, left, waits with his client John C. Douglas for testimony to continue Friday afternoon in the murder trial in Ada County District Court.
Attorney Jack McMahon, left, waits with his client John C. Douglas for testimony to continue Friday afternoon in the murder trial in Ada County District Court.

Jeanette Juraska initially told police she didn’t know who shot her in the arm and fatally injured her boyfriend and his friend.

Testifying Friday at the murder trial of John C. Douglas and Anthony Robins Jr. that she wasn’t coherent after being given a painkiller and that she was scared for her life. A Boise police detective said she told him an hour after the May 8, 2014, shootings that she told him she didn’t want to be labeled as a “snitch.”

Hours later, Juraska told detectives the shooter someone she knew as “Big Man,” a man from Pennsylvania she had met several months earlier at a marijuana farm in Northern California.

In court on Friday, Juraska stood up and pointed to Douglas, 45, as the man who pushed his way through the door of her South Orchard Street apartment and shot Travontae Calloway and Elliott Bailey.

She stood again and pointed out Anthony Robins Jr. as the man who rode with her and her boyfriend, Calloway, on a trip to the California pot farm. Juraska said she sat across a table from Douglas for several days trimming marijuana leaves. The man spoke with an “East Coast accent” and told her he was from Philadelphia.

Juraska repeated the account she gave at a March preliminary hearing for Douglas and Robins.

On May 8, Juraska, Calloway and Bailey were at the Orchard Street apartment celebrating Calloway’s 27th birthday. When the doorbell rang, she went to the door, assuming it was a delivery driver bringing a pizza they ordered.

She opened the door, she said, to Samari Winn, a friend of Calloway and Bailey, who had been at the apartment earlier. A second man then pushed his way through the doorway.

“The door pushed open and the shooter came in. The gun went off,” Juraska testified “I ran up the stairs and he shot me. I felt the bullet go through my arm.”

She said she yelled down to Calloway and Bailey but didn’t get a response. When she went downstairs, Calloway was crawling across the floor and told her to call 911.

Both men later died.

Robins, from Fremont, Calif., allegedly suspected the two men of stealing 30 pounds of marijuana from a Boise home where it was being stored. Prosecutors, who valued the pot at $100,000, said Robins arranged with Douglas to have Calloway and Bailey killed.

Defense attorney Jack McMahon, representing Douglas, pressed Juraska on why she didn’t identify Douglas from the beginning.

“Because I was scared for my life and I was more worried about the well-being of the other two,” said Juraska, who said she no longer lives in Idaho and who was accompanied to court by four federal security officers. Initially, she was not told that Calloway and Bailey had died.

She initially told detectives only that the shooter was a large black man who wore a sweatshirt and a “beanie” pulled low over his head.

She testified Friday that she spent a year as Calloway’s girlfriend but didn’t know the source of his money. She denied knowing that Calloway was a drug dealer, though when pressed she said she knew Bailey and his associates were.

Juraska said a friend told her that Calloway and Bailey were accused of stealing the marijuana on Halloween Day 2013, but she did not talk about those allegations with her boyfriend.

On the day of the shooting, Juraska said she took a codeine-based pill for back pain. She had also taken Xanax, used to treat anxiety, and two shots of liquor during the birthday celebration.

She said she was not impaired by anything she had taken before the shootings took place and had a clear memory of what happened. Emergency room doctors and police detectives said she was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they spoke with her.

Boise police Detective Jason Pietrzak testified that Juraska told him she was worried about being labeled a snitch.

The jury trial is expected to last through Feb. 5.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @IDS_Sowell