Yantis had prior run-in with authorities

Jack Yantis “always had a smile,” classmate Troy Schwartz said a memorial service Nov. 14.
Jack Yantis “always had a smile,” classmate Troy Schwartz said a memorial service Nov. 14. Provided by the Yantis family

It was a long time ago — more than 18 years — but Jack Yantis was previously at odds with an Adams County sheriff’s deputy.

In June 1997, Yantis was charged with one count of misdemeanor battery and two counts of resisting and obstructing officers. The Statesman obtained the court file but it contained little information about what led to the charges.

The criminal complaint said Yantis, then 44, unlawfully touched an officer and delayed a peace officer in his duties. The deputy who filed the complaint was John Mereen.

Yantis pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of resisting and obstructing. The other charges were dropped. He was ordered to pay a fine of $300 and placed on probation for one year. He received a withheld judgment, which means he satisfied the terms of his sentence and no conviction was entered into his record.

There is one other serious charge on Yantis’ record in Idaho, according to online court records. In May 2002, he was charged with DUI and driving with an open container of beer after he was stopped on U.S. 95 in Adams County by an Idaho State Police trooper. Breath tests showed that Yantis had a blood alcohol levels of 0.12 and 0.15 — both above the legal limit of 0.08.

A jury found Yantis guilty, and he was sentenced to 30 days in jail, though 27 were suspended. He was ordered to complete 16 hours of alcohol education and to pay fines and fees of $675.

Yantis’ driver’s license was suspended for 90 days, though he was permitted to drive from daylight to dusk for ranch activities and substance-abuse counseling. A letter in the court file indicated Yantis completed the required alcohol education at a counseling center in McCall.

On Nov. 1, Yantis and his wife, Donna, were finishing dinner with nephew Rowdy Paradis when Yantis was called by a sheriff’s dispatcher to take care of his bull, which had just been hit on U.S. 95 by a vehicle. Yantis’ fatal encounter with two sheriff’s deputies occurred at the crash scene when, family members said, he was trying to shoot the bull to kill it.

Jack and Donna “had been together since they were little kids,” Rowdy Paradis said later in a statement to lawyers at the ranch. “This was their dream. I mean, he cut logs for 20 years to pay for this place.”

At a public memorial service Nov. 14, speakers remembered Yantis as a hard worker who played on the football team at Council High School. He graduated in 1971.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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