May 21, 2024

Trial in 31-year-old Copper Dollar Ranch case moved out of Jasper County

The double first-degree murder trial in the 31-year-old Copper Dollar Ranch homicide case will not be held in Jasper County.

During a pretrial conference this morning, Judge Terry Rickers said there would be "substantial prejudice" against 54-year-old Theresa Lynn "Terri" Supino if her trial were held in the Newton or Des Moines areas. Supino was arrested March 3 on the 31st anniversary of the 1983 deaths of her estranged husband, 20-year-old Steven Fisher, and his girlfriend, 17-year-old Melisa Gregory, who were found at the former Copper Dollar Ranch northwest of Newton.

"This case has been a source of notoriety for several years," Rickers said.

In making their request for a change of venue, Supino's attorneys, Steven Addington and Jill Eimermann, provided the court with a copy of the "Cold Justice" episode that aired March 28 and chronicled its investigation of the murders as well as Supino's arrest by local authorities.

The trial, expected to last approximately three weeks, is tentatively planned to occur some time between mid-January and the end of February.

Fisher and Gregory's bodies were found the morning of March 3, 1983, at the ranch by Fisher's close friend. According to court records, both 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.

Supino was living in Altoona at the time of her arrest. She is being held in the Jasper County Jail on a $300,000 bond.