Jesse Patrick Leigh

Jesse Patrick Leigh

POCATELLO — Documents associated with search warrants have shed more light on the case involving a Pocatello man accused of fatally shooting his estranged wife and another man this past October.

Jesse Patrick Leigh, 40, of Pocatello, was initially charged with two counts of felony voluntary manslaughter and a weapons enhancement following his initial appearance in court on Oct. 18. Those charges were dismissed in early November, however, and new charges were filed.

Leigh has since been charged with two counts of felony first-degree murder and a felony for discharging a firearm in a home, according to court records.

Bannock County prosecutors handling the case have not yet decided whether or not to seek the death penalty against Leigh for fatally shooting his estranged wife Jennifer, 41, and another man Timothy Hunt, 21, inside Leigh’s home on the evening of Oct. 18.

New details about the shooting have been revealed in affidavits in support of two search warrants that the Idaho State Journal obtained on Friday — one to search the contents of Leigh’s Samsung smartphone and another to search the contents of a digital voice recorder that was found hidden inside of a heating vent duct within Leigh’s home.

A detective with the Pocatello Police Department, who served as a lead investigator in the case, authored the affidavits.

The detective noted that upon responding to Leigh’s mobile home on the 4200 block of Philbin Road, Pocatello police located both Jennifer and Hunt dead from apparent gunshot wounds. Jennifer was located in the master bedroom on the northeast end of the home with a single gunshot wound to the left side of her head, according to the affidavits. Hunt was located at the threshold of the front door on the north end of the residence with multiple gunshot wounds, “particularly two in his chest, one in his back, one in his right arm and two in his left arm,” the detective wrote.

Police learned about the shooting after Leigh's neighbors heard the gunshots and called 911. Leigh left the scene and went to his mother's home in Chubbuck before police arrived.

Both Leigh’s mother and step-father told police detectives that Leigh admitted that he had shot Jennifer and Hunt, according to the affidavits. 

Officers from the Chubbuck Police Department located Leigh at his mother’s home on the 4600 block of Tahoe Place near Cotant Park in Chubbuck around 1:40 a.m. about two hours after the shooting, police told the Idaho State Journal in October. Officers found Leigh asleep next to a Girsan Regard MC 9mm semiautomatic pistol, according to the detective’s affidavits.

Jesse Patrick Leigh home following shooting (follow)

Police tape cordons off the scene of the Oct. 18 double homicide at a mobile home park on Philbin Road in Pocatello. Jesse Patrick Leigh, 40, of Pocatello, has been charged with two felony counts of first-degree murder for the incident.

Leigh was transported to the Pocatello Police Department for an interview, during which his jacket and pants, which contained suspected bloodstains, were collected, the detective wrote.

The detective attended the autopsies of Jennifer and Hunt in Ada County on Oct. 18. The forensic pathologist determined Jennifer “sustained a fatal penetrating gunshot wound to the left side of her head,” and Hunt “sustained three fatal penetrating gunshot wounds to his torso — two in the chest and one in the left side of his back,” according to the affidavits.

Police told the Journal shortly after the shooting that Leigh and Jennifer’s 7-year-old son was inside the mobile home during the incident but would not comment on whether or not the child witnessed the shooting. The boy did not suffer any injuries and was placed in the custody of other family members following the incident, police said.

The detective wrote in his affidavit that he requested the boy participate in an emergency forensic interview at a local child advocacy center on Oct. 18. During the interview, the boy said he witnessed his father shoot his mother once and Hunt three times, the detective wrote.

The affidavits mention that police located three cellphones throughout the course of the investigation, one of which belonged to Leigh. After obtaining search warrants, each device was searched, though the exact contents and whether that information is relevant to the double homicide investigation remains unclear.

Police also located a black digital recording device inside the heating vent inside Leigh’s master bedroom that contained approximately eight hours of recordings, the detective noted. A search warrant was obtained so that police could review those recordings but no information about the contents has been released.

Leigh was scheduled to appear in front of 6th District Magistrate Judge Scott Axline for an arraignment hearing at the Bannock County Courthouse on Tuesday, but the hearing was rescheduled to begin on March 8 as prosecutors are still waiting on some evidence. The preliminary hearing involves prosecutors presenting evidence to the judge to determine if the case should be elevated from the magistrate to district court level for trial. 

Bannock County prosecutors intend to present 13 photographs and an audio recording that law enforcement obtained during the course of the investigation. A witness list has not yet been finalized but prosecutors intend to call witnesses to testify at the hearing as well.

Leigh remains incarcerated at the Bannock County Jail in Pocatello with a $1 million bond.

Once Leigh’s case is elevated to the district court level, a trial date will be set.

Leigh could face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted of just one of the felony first-degree murder charges.