July 24, 2024

Supino’s attorney files for location change for Copper Dollar Ranch murder trial

Attorneys for Theresa “Terri” Supino filed for a change of venue Tuesday for her double first-degree murder trial in the 31-year-old Copper Dollar Ranch case.

Defense attorneys Steven Addington and Jill Eimermann cited ongoing local media coverage as well as TNT’s “Cold Justice” episode that aired March 28 as reasons an impartial jury could not be found in Jasper County.

“The entertainment program itself revealed evidence obtained during the course of the investigation which would not otherwise be made known to the public prior to trial and, moreover, may not ultimately be admissible in trial,” the motion stated. “Moreover, the nature of this entertainment program was not simply informative in nature and was clearly designed to lead viewers to a predetermined conclusion in the case; that conclusion being that the defendant was the perpetrator of murder.”

Jasper County Attorney Michael Jacobsen filed a motion resisting the change of venue, noting among his reasons, “jurors should be trusted to expose any substantial prejudices among them” and “impartiality does not demand complete juror ignorance of issues and events.” Supino pleaded not guilty during a March 10 court appearance. Her trial originally had been scheduled for June 23, but no new trial date has been set.

During Tuesday’s pretrial conference, Supino also notified the court of a potential dispute between herself and “Cold Justice.” According to court documents, she has demanded all video footage — aired and unaired — from the show. The court informed her she must file a motion to compel discovery if the footage is not provided voluntarily.

Supino also raised a concern about the Jasper County Jail’s policy regarding dispensing of her medications. If the parties are unable to reach a consensus as to which medications will be dispensed to Supino while she is in custody, she has the option of filing a motion seeking the court’s intervention.

The court also agreed Tuesday to reduce her bond from $400,000 to $300,000. She currently remains in the Jasper County Jail and would be required to wear a GPS tracking device if released.

A former Newton resident who was living in Altoona at the time of her arrest, Supino was charged with two counts of first-degree murder on the 31st anniversary of the March 3, 1983, deaths of her estranged husband, 20-year-old Steven Fisher, and his girlfriend, 17-year-old Melisa Gregory. Fisher was employed at the horse ranch, which was located approximately four miles northwest of Newton.

Fisher and Gregory died as a result of multiple “chop wounds” — 13 to Fisher’s head and 17 to Gregory’s face and head — inflicted by a heavy-edged instrument, according to court documents.