Sunday, July 31, 2016

Idaho deputies who shot, killed rancher won't face charges

BOISE, Idaho – Two Idaho sheriff's deputies will not face criminal charges for shooting and killing an armed rancher in a confrontation about putting down a bull that was injured in a car crash and threatened emergency officials, state and federal officials said Friday. The Nov. 1 shooting divided the tiny town of Council in western Idaho and put a focus on the interaction between ranchers and police in the state's rural areas, where it is common for vehicles to strike livestock and for the animals' owners to come with guns to euthanize them. Jack Yantis, 62, had arrived with a rifle as Adams County deputies decided to shoot the injured 2,500-pound bull because it was charging at emergency crews working to get the driver and a passenger out of the car. Authorities have said there was an altercation, and Yantis and two deputies all fired their weapons. Yantis' family has said the shooting was not justified and filed a legal notice of their intent to sue the county earlier this year. The notice is a precursor to a wrongful-death lawsuit seeking $500,000. Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who acted as a special prosecutor, wrapped up a four-month investigation and said there "is no other way to describe what happened that day as anything but tragic and unfortunate for the Yantis family and the entire community." Wasden reviewed more than 5,000 pages of reports, lab results, witness statements and other materials. His decision came the same day U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson announced that her office would not pursue federal charges. Olson said Yantis' death was a tragedy, but the evidence did not show the deputies intended to break the law...more

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