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Death penalty sought in severed-head case

An Idaho man faces the death sentence after allegedly decapitating his wife and then killing two other individuals when he crashed his car into oncoming traffic.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Idaho prosecutors said Friday they will seek the death penalty for Alofa Time, the Nampa man accused of beheading his wife, then killing a Boise woman and her 4-year-old daughter in a botched suicide-by-car accident attempt.

A 3rd District Court judge in Canyon County granted a request from Time's lawyers to postpone his arraignment on a first-degree murder charge in the slaying of his wife, Theresa Time.

The lawyers requested more time to prepare a defense now that their client faces capital punishment, The Idaho Statesman reported.

The arraignment is scheduled for June 30. A jury trial is tentatively set to begin Oct. 23.

At an initial appearance in court Thursday, Canyon County prosecutors said they have evidence Time, 50, tortured his wife prior to her death, but they declined to disclose details.

The Canyon County coroner's office is still trying to determine the precise cause of death of Theresa Time, 47.

Three heads, two bodies
Prosecutors say her headless body was found after Alofa Time, carrying the severed head in his Dodge Ram pickup, deliberately swerved into oncoming traffic, colliding with a sedan and killing Samantha Nina Murphy, 36, and her daughter, Jaelynne Grimes, 4. The impact of the crash caused the head to fly onto the roadway.

Besides the first-degree murder charge in his wife's death, Time is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Murphy and Grimes.

Under Idaho law, to seek the death penalty, prosecutors must show several aggravating factors to a jury, which could include evidence that the alleged beheading was particularly cruel and callous.