Judge Judged As Justices Serve Justice

Here is a criminal case that defies logic. The following is a press release from the Ada County Prosecutor’s office.

On November 16, 2018, Jaime Charboneau was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a burglary and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon committed on February 15, 2016. A jury had found Charboneau guilty of the crimes in May. Judge Michael Reardon made the sentence consecutive to Charboneau’s 1985 conviction for the murder of Charboneau’s ex-wife, Marilyn Arbaugh.

Charboneau served 30 years in prison on the murder conviction until Judge Robert Elgee granted a new trial based on Charboneau’s fifth petition for post-conviction relief. Judge Elgee also allowed for the release of Charboneau on $20,000 bail. Charboneau then bailed out in May 2015 and within nine months committed the crimes of burglary, aggravated assault and use of a deadly weapon against a victim after she broke up with him after briefly dating for about two months.

In May 2017, the Idaho Supreme Court in a unanimous decision reversed Judge Elgee’s order for new trial and remanded the case with directions to the district court to dismiss Charboneau’s petition for post-conviction relief with prejudice. By that time, Charboneau was in custody in the Ada County Jail pending trial on his new case. In both cases, Charboneau bought a deadly weapon within days of the attack, laid in wait for each victim, left the deadly weapons in adjacent fields and then claimed to be the victim.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. We didn't give enough
    Nov 19, 2018, 1:40 pm

    What upsetting story of how society would not give Jaime Charboneau enough chances when down and out. Had we giving more free stuff and a nicer rental house to Jamie none of this would have happened. This is a clear example of how society failed to be liberal enough, so the person turned to crime. Totally our fault.

    Sounds crazy but that’s what we just elected in this valley. Fasten your seatbelts.

  2. No Recourse
    Nov 19, 2018, 4:30 pm

    The problem here is we have judges making decisions like but the crimes committed by those allowed to slide are not as serious so they do not get covered or sent to the supreme court.

    And the real crime is this judge remains on the bench to do this again and again….with no recourse.

  3. On election day, we are asked, “Shall Judge ____ be retained…”. How are any of us to know the judicial temperament and record of any of these people? Sounds like we need a “judicial watch” organization that monitors these judges and compiles data with would allow voters to remove or replace judges who are permissive and incompetent. As well illustrated by this sorry Charboneau case. Or maybe this already exists, and I’m just clueless about it.

    EDITOR NOTE– Idaho Judicial Council is the body that investigates judges. Supreme Court has ultimate authority.

  4. Trumplandia
    Nov 20, 2018, 9:46 pm

    Dave, the comments so far do not have a full understanding of how a District Court Judge becomes a judge. It appears that the commentors opinions are colored by that misunderstanding.

    The judge in the Press release is a District Court Judge.

    All district court judges are either appointed by the Governor to fill an unfinished term or by the voters at election time. Most District Court judges in Idaho were first appointed bymthe Govenor to fill a vacancy and only later run for office.

    When a judge retires his or hers unfinished term is filled,p by appointment. The Governor selects the new judge from a group of up to four nominaees made by the judicial council. The judicial council delves deeply into the the backgrounds of the nominees, the Governor’s office reviews the backgrounds of the nominees and the Governor interviews them.

    The scenario set forth in the press release demonstrates that the system is not perfect. What human system is? The judicial system does investigate sitting judges when the need arises or citizens make complaints.

    Only Magistrates are subject to retention votes (as alluded to by one commentor). District Court Judges are either appointed by the Governor or have won an election.

    At election time, canidates are subject to scrutiny by the electorate. Judges have lost their seats because of decisions like the one in the press release. However, if citizens don’t do their homework, they fail to unseat bad judges and let them get reelected. In other words, citizens have the ability to unseat bad judges. So, some of the blame for a failure to do so is with the electorate if they keep a hands off attitude.

    Finally, I would caution people about generalizing about the entire system based on a story in one press release. Idaho, has one of the highest incarceration rates per capita in the country. People accused of crimes in Idaho are usually convicted and fairly punished. One bad case, while not acceptable, does not impune the entire judicial system.

  5. Generalizing?
    Nov 21, 2018, 11:16 pm

    So, do ya think John Roberts was blackmailed to force his idiotic Obamacare approval? Nothing more damaging to the common folk has happened in recent times. I think we will find out this is true within a few years. The NSA does in fact have absolutely everything recorded.

    I have no doubt judges hold personal biases as well as outside influences which color their idiotic rulings like the one that let this guy out. Perhaps it should not come down to one judge when the danger to the public is so high.

  6. Yossarian_22
    Nov 22, 2018, 11:43 am

    I am NOT shocked at this at all. After Judge Sarah Backus released perps running a terrorist training camp in New Mexico, this last summer. Testimony from the children being trained totally contradicted pleas of non-guilt by defendants. Backus barely survived a petition to remove her, before this incident. Later, another judge dismissed all charges against the perps on a technicality. These ARE dangerous people being released.

    Look at Florida, with the allowance of mass corruption in Broward County. Brenda Snipes should be in jail, not just forced to resign.

    And then I give you Hillary Clinton’s own escape from justice by biased and unprofessional FBI/DOJ actors that protected her from certain treason charges that would have been filed against ANY other low level handler of top secret information.

    If you don’t think that judges can be bought or owned someway, you are totally naive and delusional.

  7. Generalizing?
    Nov 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

    A three time drunk driver damaged my vehicle, got arrested, had no insurance. One of these local judges was feeling sorry for her and had a disrespectful attitude to me and the prosecutor when I came in as a witness to make sure the charges stuck.

    Like journalists, lawyers tend to lean left and judges are typically lawyers. The system is broken, biased, and massively over complicated. USA is 25-30% of the world economy, 5% of world population, 60% of the world’s lawyers. It’s a broken system by design to enrich lawyers.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: