- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) - No charges will be filed against a police officer in southeast Iowa who fatally shot a 29-year-old man, officials announced Friday.

The Lee County Attorney’s Office said no charges will be filed in the Aug. 3 shooting death of Ryan Swearingen. The case was referred to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office Area Prosecutions Division before a final decision was made due to a potential conflict of interest.

Swearingen, of Clinton, was shot by police officer Karl Judd during an incident at Swearingen’s parents’ home in Fort Madison. Witnesses say Swearingen was out in the neighborhood in the early morning hours puncturing tires with a knife.

Officers followed Swearingen back to his parents’ home, where Judd said he shot him because he held a knife in a threatening manner.

Judd was legally justified under state law to use deadly force in the case, according to a letter from Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown. He called his actions “objectively reasonable.”

Judd has remained on paid administrative leave since the shooting. It’s unclear when he will return to work.

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