Caldwell

Nampa man gets life in prison for Lake Lowell murder

Nampa man gets life in prison for Lake Lowell murder

NAMPA, Idaho (KBOI) - A 33-year-old Nampa man convicted of forcing a man to dig his own grave before shooting him to death has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor told KBOI 2News that a judge sentenced Gregory Raymond Higgins Jr. to life on Wednesday for last summer's shooting death of 27-year-old James Groat of Nampa.

Prosecutors said Higgins and two others brought Groat to Lake Lowell where he was told to dig his own grave. He was shot five times.

Investigators say the shooting happened after Higgins mistakenly accused Groat of being a police informant. Co-defendant Christopher Michael Duran pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting murder and kidnapping. On Thursday, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He will have to serve 15 years before he's eligible for parole.

A judge has sealed the court file for 21-year-old Cruz Flores, the third man arrested after Groat's death.

After Groat was on the ground, the Canyon County Prosecutor's Office says Higgins Jr. kicked him multiple times and screamed "are you dead yet?"  Higgins Jr. then told Duran and Flores "now you see how I roll." 

As the three drove away from the scene of the murder in Groat's car, Higgins Jr. talked about having a shootout with the police if the vehicle was stopped.  The three then drove to Jack in the Box and ordered food before returning to the home of Higgins Jr.