Prosecutors say Boise man shot by deputy wanted ‘suicide by cop’

Kenneth Morehouse
Kenneth Morehouse

Kenneth Frank Morehouse, 57, a former utility company executive, remained in the Ada County Jail Tuesday evening, one day after he reportedly pointed a gun at a sheriff’s deputy and was shot in the shoulder.

Ada County Magistrate Daniel Steckel set Morehouse’s bond at $500,000 for the felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, even though prosecutors had asked for a $150,000 bond and Morehouse’s attorney asked for $10,000.

“This is not meant as a punishment,” Steckel told Morehouse, “but out of concern for your safety.”

Prosecutors and Morehouse’s attorney, Mistie Bauscher, all said at the arraignment that Morehouse had intended to harm himself. Prosecutors said they believe he attempted “suicide by cop.”

Morehouse’s estranged wife, Kari Lee Morehouse, called the police to the family’s recently vacated home in the 6200 block of West Long Branch Lane at 2:45 p.m. Monday when the shooting occurred. The Ada County Sheriff’s Office reported Morehouse pointed a gun at a deputy within seconds of their arrival, forcing the deputy to shoot him. Morehouse was treated for his wound and booked into the Ada County Jail a few hours later.

Morehouse filed for divorce in 2015, the same year he was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery against his wife. A jury found him guilty. The court issued a withheld judgment. Bauscher said Morehouse meets regularly with a probation officer. The divorce is not yet final.

Steckel noted that Morehouse was not supposed to be in possession of a gun because of his domestic battery charge. “This was a very scary situation,” said Steckel.

Steckel said he would allow a “cooling off” period, then would consider lowering Morehouse’s bond. Steckel set the next court date for March 2.

Morehouse had served as president and chief executive officer of the MDU Resources Group Inc.’s utility group companies, including Intermountain Gas Co. in Boise. Morehouse resigned from the company in January 2015, shortly after domestic violence charges were filed. Bauscher said Morehouse recently bought a restaurant in Canyon County.