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State of Idaho v. Torey Michael Adamcik

January 25, 2012


Appeal from the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District, State of Idaho, Bannock County. Honorable Peter D. McDermott, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Jones, Justice.

2012 Opinion No. 23


Judgment of conviction for first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit firstdegree murder is affirmed.

Torey Michael Adamcik (Adamcik) appeals from his convictions for first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Adamcik raises the following issues on appeal:

(1) whether there was constitutionally sufficient evidence for a jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Adamcik stabbed the victim, Cassie Jo Stoddart (Stoddart), causing her death; (2) whether the district court erred in denying Adamcik's motion to suppress statements he made while in custody; (3) whether the jury was properly instructed; (4) whether the State committed fundamental error in its closing argument; (5) whether the cumulative error doctrine necessitates a reversal; (6) whether the district court abused its discretion in sentencing Adamcik; and (7) whether the sentences imposed are unreasonable, or cruel and unusual, due to Adamcik's status as a minor at the time the crimes occurred. Adamcik also appeals the district court's denial of his post-trial motion for reduction in sentence pursuant to Idaho Criminal Rule 35. We affirm.


On June 8, 2007, a jury convicted Adamcik for the first-degree murder of Cassie Jo Stoddart and for entering into a conspiracy with his co-defendant Brian Draper (Draper) to commit first-degree murder. Subsequently, Adamcik was sentenced to indeterminate life with thirty years fixed for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and fixed life for first-degree murder.

On September 22, 2006, Stoddart was spending the night at her cousin's house, the Whispering Cliffs residence, performing house-sitting duties. Matt Beckham (Beckham), Stoddart's boyfriend, stated that he and Stoddart had invited Adamcik to the Whispering Cliffs residence that evening to "hang out." Adamcik and Draper arrived at the Whispering Cliffs residence at approximately 6:30 or 7:00 PM. After spending approximately two hours at the Whispering Cliffs residence, Draper informed Stoddart and Beckham that he needed to leave and shortly thereafter Draper and Adamcik departed.

Approximately fifteen minutes after Adamcik and Draper departed, the power at the Whispering Cliffs residence went out. Beckham called his mother to ask for permission to stay the night, but such permission was denied. After speaking with his mother, Beckham phoned Adamcik to inform him that Beckham would be going home for the night. Beckham later said that during their conversation Adamcik spoke in a whisper and claimed to be at a movie. Beckham and Adamcik spent the following day together. Beckham tried repeatedly to call Stoddart throughout the day but was unable to get an answer.

On September 24, 2006, it was discovered that Stoddart had been killed at the Whispering Cliffs residence. Police officer Hatch responded to the scene and noted large amounts of blood on the victim's body, as well as deep lacerations and stab wounds. Shortly after responding, police and paramedics confirmed that Stoddart was dead. Detectives conducting the preliminary investigation determined that Adamcik and Draper had been among the last people to see Stoddart alive.

Detectives Thomas and Ganske went to the Adamcik home and interviewed Adamcik on September 24, 2006. Adamcik's father, Sean Adamcik (Sean), was present. This interview was the first of two interviews that detectives Thomas and Ganske conducted with Adamcik. During the course of the first interview, Adamcik informed the detectives that he and Draper had gone to the Whispering Cliffs residence at approximately 8:30 PM on September 22, 2006, for a party. Adamcik stated that when it became apparent that a party was not going to take place, he and Draper decided to go and see a movie in Pocatello. When the detectives questioned Adamcik regarding the movie he had reportedly seen, Adamcik was unable to describe what the movie had been about. Adamcik told detectives that following the movie he and Draper had gone to spend the night at Adamcik's home.

On September 27, 2006, after Adamcik's first interview, but before the second, Draper led law enforcement agents to a stash of evidence buried in the Black Rock Canyon area (BRC site). The evidence uncovered by law enforcement at the BRC site included:

1. Two dagger-style knives with sheaths.

2. A silver-and-black-handled knife with a smooth and non-serrated blade.

3. A folding knife with a silver blade and black handle, which is similar to a survival knife. The portion of the blade nearest to the hilt is serrated.

4. A homemade Sony videotape (BRC tape).

5. A box of stick matches.

6. A melted brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide.

7. Partially burned notebook paper.

8. A partially melted multi-colored mask.

9. A red and white mask.

10. A pair of black boots.

11. A single black glove.

12. A pair of black "Puma" gloves.

13. A pair of blue latex gloves.

14. A pair of fingerless black "Athletic Works" gloves.

15. A black "Calvin Klein" dress shirt.

16. A black "Hagger" shirt.

Adamcik conceded that his handwriting was present on the notebook paper found along with the other evidence at the BRC site. The BRC tape contained footage of Adamcik and Draper planning Stoddart's murder, and later reacting to having killed Stoddart. The BRC tape skips around and is not recorded in chronological order. The following relevant portions of the BRC tape have been rearranged according to the time and date stamps that appear on the BRC tape.*fn1

1. September 21, 2006, at 8:05:23 PM [Adamcik and Draper are in a car, Adamcik is driving and Draper is filming from the passenger seat]

Draper: We're going for a high death count

Adamcik: Plus, we're not going to get caught Brian, if we're going for guns, we're just gonna end it. We're just gonna grab the guns and get outta there and kill everybody and leave.

Draper: We're going to make history. . . . We're gonna make history.

Adamcik: For all you FBI agents watching this--

Draper: (laughing)

Adamcik: Uh . . . you weren't quick enough. (laughing)

Draper: You weren't quick enough, and you weren't s-s-smart enough. And we're going over to [Jane Doe 1's] house, we-we-we're going to snoop around over there and try to see if she's home alone or not, and if she's home alone, SPLAT! . . . She dead.

Adamcik: Don't put your humor into this Brian.

Draper: Uh, I'm not putting any humor into it. . . . Yep, people will die, and m-m-memories will fade.

Adamcik: Memories will fade. . . . I, hmm, I wonder what movie you got that from Brian?

Draper: Myself!

Adamcik: (laughing)

Draper: That was from myself.

Adamcik: No wonder it was so lame.

Draper:--kay, we're on our way, and I'm gonna, I'll let you stay tuned, we're almost there.

2. September 21, 2006, at 8:08:12 PM [Adamcik and Draper are in a car, Draper is filming Adamcik with the camera light on]

Draper: We're at [Jane Doe 1's] house. It's clear out there in the pasture. We've already snooped around her house a couple times, Uh, and sh-sh-she's not at home so we're gonna go to that church over there and we're gonna call a girl and a guy named Cassie and Matt. They're our-our friends but we have to make sacrifices. So um I feel tonight i-i-it is the night and I feel really weird . . . and stuff. I feel like I want to kill somebody. Uh, I know that's not normal but what the hell.

Adamcik: I feel we need to break away from normal life.

Draper: How bright is this light? [Draper has turned the camera light directly onto Adamcik]

Adamcik: Because . . . let's put it this way . . . parents, along with their parents, along with their parents, and so on--

Draper: Uh-huh

Adamcik:--taught them about God, Jesus, the whole bullshit--

Draper: (laughing)

Adamcik: --line. I'm sure you guys believe in God as well. I realized when I was in seventh grade . . . along, you don't believe in Santa Claus or--

Draper: (laughing)

Adamcik:--vampires, or werewolves, they're used to metaphor, not let--they teach their kids back in the 1800s, I learned this in English class, about telling their kids that they can't go outside or a vampire will get you--just to make their kids stay and do what they want to do. God is basically--

Draper: That's what God's for right?

Adamcik:--the same way--

Draper: Yep.

Adamcik:--tryin' to get people to do good, or else "so-called" [air quoting] you go to hell.

Draper: And we're obviously going to hell if it's real, but who gives a shit?

Adamcik: And why would you say it's real?

Draper: [talking over Adamcik] Yeah, but it's not real. It's not real, cuz it's so blatantly obvious that it's not real, but (laughing)

Adamcik: People believe it because their parents teach them, and so it's so hard for them to let go of it because they've been taught their whole life.

Draper: Yeah, I know.

Adamcik: But, fuckin--

Draper: What?

Adamcik:--the point I'm makin' is . . . we are also taught that things like killing people and other things is wrong. The only thing that is wrong about is because it's breaking the law and the law is only wrong (mumbling, searching for words)--

Draper: Natural selection, dude. Natural selection, that's all I've gotta say.

Adamcik: There should be no law against killing people. I know it's a wrong thing, but . . . Draper: Natural selection--

Adamcik:--Hell, hell, you restrict somebody from it, they're just gonna want it more. Draper: Exactly. Goodbye camera.

3. September 21, 2006, at 8:15:39 PM [Adamcik and Draper are in a car, Adamcik is driving and Draper is filming from the passenger seat]

Draper:--home. My friend's too pussy to go investigate--turn here Adamcik: Too smart--

Draper: Why aren't you turning there dude? Adamcik: Cuz it's faster this way

Draper: Now we're going to go over to Cassie and Matt's house. If they're home alone, we're gonna...

Adamcik: It's Cassie's house. Matt is there.

Draper: Matt is there. Sorry. We're gonna ga--we're gonna knock on the door. We'll see who is there. We'll, we'll see, we'll see-see if their parents are home or not. If they're home alone we will leave our way and then we will come back in about ten minutes. We'll sneak in through the door because chances are they're probably in Cassie's room. S-s-s-so we will sneak in the front door, we'll make a noise outside.

Adamcik: And Matt will come out to investigate.

Draper: We'll kill him. And we'll scare the shit out of Cassie . . . okay? Adamcik: Sounds like fun.

Draper: Well stay tuned.

4. September 21, 2006, at 8:36:46 PM [Adamcik and Draper are in a car, Adamcik is driving and Draper is filming from the passenger seat]

Draper: We found our victim and sad as it may be she's our friend but you know what? We all have to make sacrifices. Our first victim is going to be Cassie Stoddart and her friends . . .

Adamcik: [directed at passing car] God, turn your brights off asshole! Draper: We'll let you . . . (laughs) we'll find out if she has friends over, if she's going to be alone in a big dark house out in the middle of nowhere (laughs). How perfect can you get? I, I mean like holy shit dude.

Adamcik: I'm horny just thinking about it.

Draper: Hell yeah. So we're gonna fuckin' kill her and her friends and we're gonna keep moving on. I heard some news about [Jane Doe 2], she's gonna be home alone from six to seven so we might kill her and drive over to Cassie's thing and scare the shit out of them and kill them one by fucking one. Hell yeah.

Adamcik: Why one by one? Why can't it be a slaughterhouse?

Draper: Two by two and three by three. Cause we've got to keep it classy. Adamcik: Keep it classy.

Draper: So yeah. It's going to be extra fun.

Adamcik: You're evil (laughs).

Draper: Yes, I am. So are you dude. Evil. Evil.

Adamcik: No. Evil is an expression of God. That was another test you failed. Draper: Evil is not an expression of God.

Adamcik: Yes, it is.

Draper: That is bullshit and you know it.

Adamcik: Evil of origin is a follower of fucking Satan. Draper: There is no Satan.

Adamcik: Is Satan real? Then shut up.

Draper: Then how are we supposed to express ourselves?

Adamcik: Good and Bad.

Draper: We're, we're bad. Adamcik: We are bad.

Draper: That sounds so shitty.

Adamcik: We're evil. That sounds even shittier.

Draper: Hey, we're not, okay. Then we are sick psychopaths who get their pleasure off killing other people.

Adamcik: That sounds good baby.

Draper: We're gonna go down in history. We're gonna be just like Scream except real life terms.

Adamcik: That sounds good baby.

Draper: We're gonna be murderers. Like, let's see, Ted Bundy, like the Hillside Strangler.

Adamcik: No.

Draper: The Zodiac Killer.

Adamcik: Those people were more amateurs compared to what we are going to be, we're gonna be more of higher sources of Ed gl . . .

Draper: Gein

Adamcik: Gein

Draper: (laughs) Well let's say we're that sick and that twisted-- Adamcik: Oh, you know what Ed Gein's words were?

Draper: What?

Adamcik: He saw a girl walkin' down the street, right?

Draper: Yeah.

Adamcik: Two questions came to his head. Hmm, I could take her out and have a nice time with her--

Draper:--and then kill her? Skin her alive?

Adamcik:--charm the pants off her. Or, I wonder what her head would look like on a stick? (laughs)

Draper: (laughs) Holy shit!

Adamcik: It's creepy huh?

Draper: Kick ass.

Adamcik & Draper: (laughing)

Draper: Murder is power, murder is freedom, goodbye.

Adamcik: Umm--

5. September 22, 2006, at 12:10:58 PM [Adamcik and Draper are sitting at a table with the camera facing them]

Draper: Alright, cool.

Adamcik: [looking down and writing in a notebook] I was planning to kill him.

Draper: September 22, 2006, we're skipping our fourth hour class. We're writing our plan right now for tonight. It's gonna be cool.

Adamcik: We? Torey and Brian . . . [writing] . . . we're making our death list right now, for when, for actually tonight . . .

Draper: (whispering) she's watching us . . .

Adamcik: (unintelligible)

Draper: She's still watching us . . .

Adamcik: (mumbling, unintelligible)

Draper: [loudly] Number 2 is what?

[long gap where Adamcik and Draper are both concerned a teacher is going to see them, are whispering various things related to this and trying to make themselves less visible]

Adamcik: [writing again] Then . . . (unintelligible)

Draper: Yeah, if you're watching this we're probably deceased

Draper: Hopefully this will go smoothly and we can get our first kill done and then keep going.

Adamcik: For you future serial killers watching this tape Adamcik & Draper: (laughing)

Adamcik: I don't know what to say.

Draper: It-It's--

Adamcik:--good luck with that.

Draper: Good luck.

Adamcik: Hopefully you don't have like 8 or 9 ...

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