Three months ago, two sheriff’s deputies shot and killed rancher Jack Yantis on a highway near his ranch in west-central Idaho. So far, state and Adams County law enforcement officials have told the public little other than that weapons were fired.
Idaho State Police says its investigation into the Nov. 1 shooting is still underway.
“We are hoping that we will be receiving lab results back in the next week or so,” ISP spokesperson Teresa Baker said Friday.
Once the investigation is complete, ISP will submit its findings to Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office, which will determine whether there were any state criminal violations.
Spokesman Todd Dvorak said that once Wasden’s office receives ISP’s report, “We will have our investigators, our criminal division and our attorneys review it. We will start the process of looking at the evidence that has been gathered and the statements and begin the process of making a decision on how to handle this case.”
The Attorney General’s Office does not know how long that will take. “We will try to do this as efficiently as possible,” Dvorak said. “We will only get one chance at this, so we want to be thorough and do our jobs diligently.”
The FBI is conducting its own investigation for possible federal violations. U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said that investigation is continuing. Olson’s office will determine whether federal charges are warranted.
On Nov. 1, a car struck one of Yantis’ bulls on U.S. 95 near Council, injuring the occupants. Emergency responders, including two Adams County sheriff’s deputies, Cody W. Roland and Brian S. Wood, went to the scene. Adams County dispatch had also called Yantis to go to the scene to take care of his bull, which was alive but seriously wounded. Yantis, 62, was killed by the deputies. His wife, Donna, who witnessed the shooting, had a heart attack and was hospitalized. She has since been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.
The Statesman continues to receive questions from readers regularly about the investigations’ status. Several inquiries followed Tuesday’s officer-involved shooting in Oregon, where Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, one of the armed militants who took over offices of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, was killed.
Within 48 hours, the FBI released a statement detailing the incident and an unedited 30-minute video taken from an airplane of the traffic stop where Finicum was shot.
“We want to do what we can to lay out an honest and unfiltered view of what happened and how it happened,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Bretzing.