Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has issued his much-anticipated review of the November 2015 officer-related shooting of Adams County rancher Jack Yantis and has determined no criminal charges will be filed against the Adams County sheriff deputies. Wasden announced Friday morning his office had reviewed more than 5,000 pages of reports, lab results and witness statements, saying, "The evidence is insufficient to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt of the two deputies."
“There is no other way to describe what happened that day as anything but tragic and unfortunate for the Yantis family and the entire community,” said Wasden. “It is my hope that in the weeks and months ahead, the community can heal and rebuild trust.”
The fatal incident stemmed from a Nov. 1, 2015, collision on U.S. Highway 95 between a vehicle and a bull owned by Yantis. Authorities said Yantis, 62, arrived on the scene of the crash armed with a rifle just as deputies were attempting to put down the bull. Moments later, Yantis had been shot and killed.
In December 2015, the Adams County Sheriff's Office identified Deputies Brian Wood and Cody Roland as the lawmen involved in the shooting. Tensions in Adams County have been high ever since, with accusations and rumors becoming part of daily conversations in the community.
According to details released Friday morning, Yantis suffered 12 gunshot wounds, three to the abdomen, eight to his upper extremities and one to his chest. The wound to the chest, caused by a .223 bullet, was fatal.
Toxicology results, also released Friday, indicated Wood and Roland tested negative for drugs and alcohol. Yantis' blood alcohol content was .104 percent.
A short time after Wasden's announcement, U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson announced that her office has also decided not to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges at the Adams County deputies.
"Mr. Yantis’s death is tragic, is a tremendous loss to his family and has had a substantial effect on the Adams County community. However, the evidence does not meet the substantial evidentiary requirements imposed by the criminal law. In light of this, and for the reasons explained below, this matter is not a prosecutable violation of the applicable federal civil rights statute," said Olson.