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Isenberg pleads guilty to lesser murder charge

by KAYE THORNBRUGH
Staff Writer | February 13, 2021 1:06 AM

Convicted embezzler Laurcene “Lori” Isenberg pleaded guilty to a lesser murder charge this week, three years after her husband died under mysterious circumstances.

Isenberg pleaded guilty in accordance with Alford on Thursday to second-degree murder.

By entering an Alford plea, Isenberg does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence that she might be convicted if the case went to trial.

Lori Isenberg said her husband, Larry, fell from the couple’s boat and drowned in Coeur d’Alene Lake on Feb. 13, 2018.

After a two-week search, Larry Isenberg’s body was recovered from the lake. An autopsy reportedly showed that he died due to an overdose of Benadryl.

Prosecutors said Isenberg previously researched Florida water depths, currents, tides, drownings, boating accidents and boat rentals while on a trip with her husband.

A grand jury indicted Isenberg last January on charges of first-degree murder through the use of poison.

Murder is classified as either first-degree or second-degree, depending on the circumstances of the case. First-degree murder includes killings perpetrated by means of poison, torture or lying in wait. It also includes premeditated killings.

Murder can also be classified as in the first degree if the victim is a police officer, officer of the court or a child under 12, or if the crime was committed in the perpetration of another serious offense, such as arson, rape, robbery or kidnapping.

Any murder that is not classified as first-degree is considered murder in the second degree.

Idaho code states that first-degree murder is punishable by death or by life in prison.

Second-degree murder is punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison or a maximum life sentence.

In 2019, Isenberg pleaded guilty to wire fraud and theft from a federal program. She reportedly embezzled $570,000 from the North Idaho Housing Coalition during her time as director.

She was sentenced to five years in prison on those charges.

Her sentencing for second-degree murder is scheduled for May.