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Man who fatally stabbed ex-girlfriend 50 times with a ‘screwdriver and a drumstick’ learns his fate

David L. Randall (Ada County Sheriff's Office)

David L. Randall (Ada County Sheriff’s Office)

A 60-year-old man in Idaho may spend the rest of his life behind bars for torturing and killing his ex-girlfriend shortly after they broke up. Fourth County District Judge Steven Hippler on Friday ordered David L. Randall to serve 25 years to life in prison for the brutal 2019 slaying of 56-year-old Darla Fletcher, authorities announced.

The sentence follows the recommendations from prosecutors after Randall signed a plea deal in December 2021, pleading guilty to one count of first-degree murder as well as an enhancement for using a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony in Fletcher’s death, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

According to a press release from the Office of the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney, prior to handing down the sentence, Judge Hippler addressed the court. He noted Randall’s “striking” lack of remorse for his horrendous crime, saying that Randall still “presents a grave danger to the community.”

Randall was initially arrested on Dec. 16, 2019, at his home in Boise — the same home he and Fletcher had lived in together when they were still a couple. Authorities said they had broken up about a month prior to Fletcher’s violent death.

“The defendant and victim had recently ended their relationship, when Ms. Fletcher drove to their previously shared residence to collect some belongings,” prosecutors wrote in the release. “When she entered the house, Mr. Randall attacked, tortured, stabbed, and beat Ms. Fletcher to death.”

When Fletcher did not show up to work on Dec. 16, her son got worried and started looking for her. He ultimately found her deceased at Randall’s home, Boise NBC affiliate KTVB reported.

Court documents obtained by the Idaho Statesman reportedly say that during the attack, Randall stabbed Fletcher “over 50 times with a screwdriver and a drumstick.”

“I extend my deepest condolences to Ms. Fletchers’ family and friends,” Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts said in a statement. “This brutal domestic homicide has weighed on the victim’s family and friends, our office, and the community for over three years now. I’m proud of the hard work performed by my trial team and the Boise Police Department’s homicide detectives, which ensured justice was ultimately served in this case.”

Four months after entering into the plea agreement, Randall — who claimed to have suffered from a schizophrenia-induced psychosis at the time of the murder — attempted to have the pleading rescinded, the Statesman reported.

“Immediately after pleading guilty, I realized I had made a terrible mistake,” Randall reportedly wrote in the affidavit seeking to withdraw the plea. The filing also reportedly cited a letter written to Randall’s son the day he signed the agreement in which he said pleading guilty was the “worst day” of his life and a “big mistake.”

But Judge Hippler denied the request, noting that multiple months had passed since the agreement had been signed. He further reasoned that Randall entered into the agreement “knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily,” saying Randall was simply experiencing “buyer’s remorse” over the consequences he would face, the Statesman reported.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.