- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - A Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy has been cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting death of a 60-year-old man during an altercation outside an Idaho Falls hospital.

Bonneville County Prosecutor Daniel Clark on Thursday said that Capt. John Wolfe is not culpable for shooting David Alma Giles on March 18, The Post-Register reported (https://bit.ly/1SArUAK).

Giles had recently been diagnosed with rapid-onset Alzheimer’s disease, according to prosecutors. His family called 911 saying he had gotten out of a vehicle and was acting agitated before Wolfe arrived at the scene.

Wolfe shot Giles after an altercation outside the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in which Giles attempted to put his hands around Wolfe’s throat and Wolfe used pepper spray.

According to a prosecutor’s office news release, Giles, who had been sitting in the front seat of the patrol vehicle, was able to wrest Wolfe’s shotgun from its spot in the vehicle and point it at the deputy. Wolfe grabbed the gun’s barrel and pushed it away. Giles’ finger was on or near the trigger and he was shot in the chest.

Clark said allowing Giles to sit in the front seat may have led to the incident, but that Wolfe was not negligent in allowing Giles to do so.

“It is reasonable for an officer to treat those with a mental illness differently than a criminal and make decisions to effectively deal with delicate individuals,” Clark said in the release.

Wolfe was placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation, but Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman detective Sam Tower said he has since been cleared to return to work.

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Information from: Post Register, https://www.postregister.com


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