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Jury will continue deliberations Monday in Jonelle Matthews cold case murder trial

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Posted at 7:06 PM, Oct 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-28 21:06:59-04

DENVER — Weld County jurors will continue their deliberations Monday in the Jonelle Matthews cold case murder trial after listening to three hours of closing arguments Friday.

This is the second trial against Steven Dana Pankey, a 71-year-old Idaho man accused of kidnapping and murdering Matthews, who was 12 years old when she disappeared from her Greeley home in 1984.

A mistrial was declared last year on the same charges when a jury was unable to reach a consensus, but found Pankey guilty of making a false report.

Pankey was arrested October 12, 2020, by officers with the Meridian Police Department in Idaho and two detectives with the Greeley Police Department after a grand jury indictment.

According to Pankey’s indictment, he allegedly took Matthews from her home on the night of December 20, 1984, sometime between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. He then allegedly shot her in the head during the kidnapping. At the time, Pankey lived about two miles from the Matthews’ home.

Prosecutors argue Pankey's obsessive interest in the case and incriminating comments throughout the years link him to Matthews' murder.

Pankey's attorneys have pointed out throughout the trial that there is no physical evidence showing that Pankey was involved in anyway.

Jurors will reconvene Monday at 8:30 a.m. to continue deliberations.