PAYETTE, Idaho -- Prosecutors have formally charged two Payette men in last week's stabbing death of a 45-year-old Head Start teacher in rural Payette County.
Suspects Michael J. Culley and Jonathan Hernandez are accused of stabbing and killing 45-year-old Elizabeth Baune sometime on Wednesday, November 7.
Police say the killing happened at the home Baune shared with several roommates in rural Payette County.
Hernandez is also accused of stealing Baune's bank card.
Both men appeared before Judge Brian Lee Tuesday afternoon. Hernandez was charged with felony grand theft, felony probation violation, and first-degree murder. Culley was charged with first-degree murder.
The duo is now being held in the Payette County Jail without bond. A preliminary hearing for Culley and Hernandez is set for Nov. 26 at 10:30 a.m. Both men have been appointed a public defender.
Members of the the victim's and suspects' families appeared in court on Tuesday.
Baune's family tells us the killing is even more disturbing, since Culley is victim's second cousin.
"I've known him his entire life, I've supported him, I've feed him, I've clothed him," said Wayne Buxton.
Buxton was engaged to Baune, and says they had been letting Culley live in their home, taking care of him.
He says Baune even dropped him off to vote on Tuesday. Buxton says the next night, she was dead, and her bank card was stolen.
"She was a great gal, and that's the sad thing, if he would have just asked her for money, she would have gave it to him," he said.
Buxton was nearly speechless but had a clear message for the man charged with killing the woman he loved.
"It's killing me, but he deserves to fry, because it's my understanding that he confessed, so he deserves to fry," said Buxton.
Services for the victim, Elizabeth Baune, were announced today.
Vigil services will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, located at 900 NW 7th Street in Fruitland.
Memorial services will be held 10 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 15 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church with inurnment to follow at Riverside Cemetery in Payette.