The Latest: Rancher's family sad deputies won't be charged

AP News
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Posted: Jul 29, 2016 3:52 PM

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Latest on the Idaho attorney general's decision not to charge deputies who shot a rancher (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

An attorney for the family of an Idaho rancher says their position that he was wrongly shot and killed by two sheriff's deputies hasn't changed since state and federal officials declined to charge them.

Boise attorney Charles Peterson said Friday that the family of Jack Yantis was sad after learning the state's attorney general and U.S. attorney for Idaho wouldn't pursue a criminal case against the Adams County deputies.

Yantis was killed after one of his bulls was hit by a car and the deputies tried to put down the animal.

Peterson says Yantis' wife, Donna, "watched as her husband was gunned down, today's decision doesn't change that."

Peterson says the family will finally be able to look at the evidence now that the investigation is complete.

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12:50 p.m.

The Idaho attorney general says it's clear something went horribly wrong when two sheriff's deputies shot and killed a rancher, but the case doesn't meet the legal standard for prosecution.

Jack Yantis was sitting at his dinner table in November when dispatchers called and asked him to tend to a bull that was badly injured by a car. Five minutes later, Yantis was dead, shot 12 times.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said state law on justifiable homicide by an officer outlines the proof required to bring charges. His office reviewed thousands of pages of documents, photos, witness statements and lab reports and examined the crime scene, but Wasden said the facts didn't measure up to the law's requirements.

Wasden says his office didn't investigate civil issues, such as whether the deputies should have turned on body cameras or whether Yantis should have been called to the scene.

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11:30 a.m.

Federal prosecutors say they won't pursue a criminal case against two Idaho sheriff's deputies who shot and killed an armed rancher, coming the same day the state attorney general decided not to file charges.

U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said Friday that the Nov. 1 death of Jack Yantis was a tragedy, but the evidence doesn't show the deputies intended to break the law. She says her office notified Yantis' family of the decision.

Yantis was killed after one of his bulls was hit by a car and the deputies tried to put down the animal.

Olson's office says no audio or video recordings exist though both deputies were issued body cameras. Instead, investigators relied on testimony from the deputies and two civilians.

The Idaho attorney general also announced Friday that he wouldn't pursue criminal charges.

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10:25 a.m.

The Idaho attorney general says there isn't enough evidence to charge two sheriff's deputies who shot and killed an armed rancher in a confrontation about putting down a bull injured in a car crash.

Family members have said the Nov. 1 shooting of 62-year-old Jack Yantis wasn't justified.

Yantis arrived with a rifle as deputies decided to shoot the animal because it was charging emergency crews. Authorities have said there was an altercation, and Yantis and two deputies all fired their weapons.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced Friday that his office had finished its four-month investigation and called the shooting "tragic and unfortunate for the Yantis family and the entire community."

Authorities say no video or audio recording exists, though the deputies were wearing body cameras.