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Gooding Police: Woman asked nephew to kill her boyfriend

According to an affidavit, the girlfriend of Gooding man Roger Driesel asked her nephew to kill him. He was shot seven times, police say.

GOODING, Idaho — Two people have been charged in relation to the death of Gooding man Roger Driesel, who police say was shot after his girlfriend Athena Miller asked her nephew to kill him.

Miller, 50, is charged with aiding and abetting first-degree murder, grand theft, providing false information to law enforcement and two counts of destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence. 

Nick James, her 31-year-old nephew, is charged with first-degree murder, grand theft, destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence and providing false information to law enforcement. Prosecutors have also filed to seek an enhanced penalty against James because they say he used a firearm during the commission of a crime.

According to an affidavit filed by Gooding Police Detective Neill Martin, Miller reported Driesel missing on May 17, two days after she last saw him. 

Police spoke with James' friend, the affidavit said, and he told law enforcement that James was asking questions about "what a .22 caliber bullets could do to the back of someone's head." When speaking to James' roommate, police say they were told James asked to hide a gun at the home.

At the time, Driesel was still missing.

Driesel was later found dead in a local shop on May 27 under a blue tarp. Neill wrote in the affidavit that the Ada County Coroner confirmed Driesel was shot seven times with two different guns, a .22 caliber and a .380 caliber.

According to the affidavit, James was later taken to the Gooding County Sheriff's Office for an interview, where he told police that Miller had asked him to shoot Driesel, and he did it because Miller told James that Driesel was abusing her. James said in the filings that he had to use two guns because one was out of bullets, and he didn't want "him to suffer."

"She told me that he hit her and snapped, It brought back memories of my dad beating my mom and without thinking fallen into trap of deceit and lies. I drove out there to confront him and things got out of hand and I ended up shooting him out of the fear and safety of my aunt let alone me who Roger has threatened to shoot me number of times," James' statement says in the affidavit. "I'm sorry for how this all came about wish could take it all back. I plead insanity." 

On June 6, the affidavit says, Miller admitted to police she asked her nephew to kill Driesel, and afterward, the two went to a hot spring to "relax."

Later that week, Miller and James went to "clean up where Roger died," the affidavit says, and the two pushed Driesel's body into an oil pit where they covered him up with tarp. 

Both were arrested without incident and will appear in Gooding County Court at 1 p.m. Wednesday for an arraignment.

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