Betrayal: The Murder of Cassie Jo Stoddart

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Photo by Sixties Photography on Unsplash

Cassie Jo Stoddart has been described as a typical teenage girl with a love for music and drawing. The teenager, who was born in Pocatello, Idaho, loved to take care of her uncle and aunt’s animals and home when they left town.

The two boys who would be convicted of Cassie’s murder were juniors, just like she was. Brian Lee Draper and Torey Michael Adamcik were supposed to be Cassie’s friends.

House Sitting

Stoddart decided to invite her boyfriend over while she was housesitting for family in September of 2006. Friends Adamcik and Draper showed up later, and they all decided to watch a movie. Some sources say the movie was Kill Bill.

Eventually, Draper and Adamcik said they wanted to go watch a movie at the theater, so they seemingly left the property. At some point after this, the power in the house went out. Stoddart and her boyfriend heard sounds coming from the basement, and a dog was acting strangely. Apparently, the lights came back on at some point.

Later, it would be said that these sounds were Adamcik and Draper trying to lure the teenagers downstairs so they could attack them both. It didn’t work, and Stoddart’s boyfriend was picked up by his mother around this time. Stoddart was offered the chance to leave because she felt creeped out, but she felt it was her duty to stay and complete her housesitting duties.

Discovery

Once Stoddart’s boyfriend left, the two boys turned off the lights once again. They went upstairs with two knives and attacked her. She suffered from dozens of stab wounds.

Unfortunately, Stoddart’s body was discovered by her family returning from their trip out of town around two days later. It was reportedly extremely traumatic for the family, and it became very difficult to live in or even sell the home in the wake of the tragedy.

The Arrests

On September 27, 2006, Draper and Adamcik were charged with first-degree murder. Both were also charged with conspiracy.

During interrogation, the two boys blamed each other. Draper claimed he was in the room but did not stab Stoddart. Later, he did say that he stabbed her only under the command of Adamcik. Later, investigators were told about a location where they found clothing, masks, and knives the two teenagers had used and disposed of.

The Trial

During trial, prosecutors brought forth a tape featuring Draper and Adamcik discussing a plan to murder Stoddart. A video of the two leaving the scene is available. One of them says, “I just killed Cassie. We’ve just left her house. This is not a fucking joke.” They discuss the incident in further detail.

On April 17, 2007, Draper was found guilty. Adamcik was convicted on June 8, 2007. Both teenagers received a life sentence without the possibility of parole on top of 30 years to life in prison for conspiracy. Both have appealed their sentences. Draper’s conviction for conspiracy was vacated, but the murder conviction still stands.

The case Miller v. Alabama decided that mandatory life sentences without parole for juvenile offenders are unconstitutional. This means Adamcik and Draper’s sentences could be reviewed in the future.

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