Son of Idaho Lawmaker Found Dead in Pocatello Jail Cell

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Pingree Republican Rep. Julie VanOrden was elected to the Idaho House in November 2012.
  • Pingree Republican Rep. Julie VanOrden was elected to the Idaho House in November 2012.

Pingree Republican Rep. Julie VanOrden is mourning the death of her 26-year-old son, whose body was discovered Aug. 30 in a Bannock County jail cell.

The Bannock County Sheriff's Department confirmed that 26-year-old Jason VanOrden, also of Pingree, died in the early morning hours of Aug. 30 but didn't provide further details.

Jason Van Orden was arrested Aug. 15 following a four-hour standoff with Pocatello police. Law enforcement said that Van Orden had barricaded himself in his vehicle and told officers he had a gun. Negotiations broke down when police said Van Orden came out of his vehicle waving a knife. He was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery and resisting arrest.

Jason VanOrden had several previous arrests, according to Idaho court records, including DUI and domestic battery.

Julie Van Orden was first elected to the Idaho House in November 2012 and during the 2013 legislative session, served on the House Agriculture, Commerce and Human Resources and Education committees. Van Orden defeated former Representative Jim Marriott in the May 2012 GOP primary.