CALDWELL -- Authorities say a 34-year-old Melba woman suspected in the shooting death of a 59-year-old Nampa man admitted to the killing in the Canyon County Jail.
Nicole Kirtley appeared before Canyon County Judge James Schiller Monday afternoon. Kirtley was charged with second-degree murder and grand theft.
Schiller set her bond at $5,000,000.
When read the charges, Kirtley dropped her head and began to cry.
The Melba woman is suspected of shooting and killing George Richardson Jr. sometime on Thursday, February 7. Deputies found Richardson's body in the bedroom at his Nampa home later that afternoon.
Richardson's Jeep Wrangler was later found partially submerged in the Snake River two miles from the victim's home. Reports indicate the Jeep had a rock placed over the gas pedal.
When asked about the method of killing, deputies declined to comment. However, investigators point to the 34-year-old's whereabouts prior to Richardson's death.
Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue says Richardson and Kirtley were seen leaving a Nampa bar together early Thursday morning. Court documents say a cab driver told detectives that a woman grabbed the keys out of a man's hands before getting into the driver's seat.
"We had witnesses that confirmed the two of them were together, her driving his Jeep at the time," Donahue said.
Donahue says a witness also reported seeing a woman matching Kirtley's description leaving Richardson's home around 7:30 a.m. Thursday. Donahue says the witness could not describe the vehicle the woman was driving.
Court records indicate Kirtley appeared before a Canyon County judge and was sentenced to 8 years in prison for burglary on Friday. However, that sentence was suspended, and Kirtley was directed to appear in mental health court at a later date.
She was then arrested and booked into the Canyon County Jail Friday afternoon on charges related to a prior DUI in Ada County.
Investigators questioned Kirtley after learning she had been seen with Richardson prior to his death. Court documents say Kirtley invoked her right to remain silent so detectives returned her to the booking area of the jail.
They say after being questioned, she admitted to killing Richardson while speaking to a male inmate in a booking area.
According to Kirtley's arrest report, she also told the inmate "she wasn't going to be raped again" and did not feel bad about killing the person. Donahue said he could not comment on the motive.
Chief Deputy Marv Dashiell says the inmate reported the conversation to jail authorities shortly afterward.
"I believe he did come forward at some point," Dashiell said.
Deputies found clothing and accessories that matched what Kirtley was seen wearing in the bar's surveillance video. Authorities originally decided to charge Kirtley with first-degree murder, but that charge was amended to second-degree murder Monday morning.
Kirtley is due back in court later this month for a preliminary hearing.