Idaho man arrested for '95 California double homicide

Author: Anusha Roy, KXLY4 Reporter, anushar@kxly.com
Published On: Dec 07 2012 07:53:57 AM PST   Updated On: Dec 07 2012 05:49:41 PM PST
Christian Bunty
SANDPOINT, Idaho -

17 years after two people were killed in California in 1995, 40-year-old Christian Leonard Bunty was arrested Tuesday near Sandpoint for the killings.

Barstow detectives have suspected him all this time. While they don't think he acted alone, Barstow police do think Bunty was involved in a rip-off drug deal and two murders.

Detectives say the victims, Mark Adamson and Joseph Riley, thought they were going to buy an ingredient for meth; instead they were shot and killed.

In 1995, Bunty ended up in trouble for breaking another law. He and two other men were impersonating FBI agents, carrying out bogus raids to rob drug houses. He struck a plea, got credit for time served and during probation moved to Idaho.

In the meantime, the disappearance of Adamson and Riley went unsolved. Detectives never recovered the victims' bodies but put together what happened.

"Our investigation has shown that Bunty and Franklin lured Adamson and Riley to a location in the desert where they were shot and killed and buried in what was a pre-dug hole," Barstow Police Detective Keith Libby said.

Bunty's alleged accomplice, 41 year old James Franklin, is already serving a life sentence without parole for an unrelated homicide.

In recent years, homicide cases, without the victims bodies,  have been more accepted and successful in San Bernardino County, so the district attorney office filed a warrant for Bunty's arrest.

California detectives worked with the Idaho State Police to meet Bunty at a Sagle restaurant parking lot and took him into custody.

There will be a hearing next month regarding Bunty's extradition to California.

Barstow police did get a chance to talk to Riley's mother, who said she's pleased with the arrest. They still haven't been able to contact Adamson's family.