Coronerís inquest to be set for later
By MATT FURBER
Express Staff Writer
A coronerís inquest announced last week by
the county prosecutor and county sheriff to look into the police shooting death
of Ketchum resident Tom Algiers has been continued to a yet unspecified future
Parallel investigations into the shooting
and a second, related investigation of a Wyoming man being held at the county
jail for alleged aggravated battery against Algiers before he was shot May 16,
are now both being carried out by Idaho Deputy Attorney General Jay Rosenthal.
A special task force headed by Lt. Randy
White of the Minidoka Sheriffís Office determined the shooting death of Algiers
by Blaine County Deputy Curtis Miller was justifiable homicide, said Blaine
County Sheriff Walt Femling. At the same press conference last week, Femiling
and Blaine County Prosecutor Jim Thomas announced plans for the inquest.
According to police, Algiers, 46, was
killed shortly before 3 a.m. after police responded to a 911 call made by former
Wyoming resident Daniel Hunt, 44, from the River Run Lodge at about 2 a.m.
Hunt told police he was attacked by
Algiers, who was later slain by police in an early morning standoff at a
campsite south of River Run Lodge and along the Big Wood River
Femling said when Algiers was found in the
dense woods along the river, he refused to drop a knife he was carrying. Algiers
cornered two county deputies, and Miller shot Algiers twice, the sheriff said.
Soon after the events of May 16, Femling turned over the investigation to the
task force composed of Southern Idaho law enforcement officers.
Autopsy reports show that Algiers was
stuck numerous times in the head with a machete before he was shot by police.
Rosenthal, already prosecuting Huntís
aggravated battery charges, was asked to prosecute the Algiers case as
"independent counsel," and to help facilitate the legal proceedings surrounding
an inquest. The task force report is now in the hands of Ada County Coroner
Erwin Sonnenberg, who Thomas and Femling asked to hold the inquest.
Continued just a week after announcing
July 8 and 9 as dates for an inquest to be held at the Blaine County Court
House, a new date has not yet been set. A preliminary hearing for Hunt has been
continued for a third time until Aug. 3.
Femling did not elaborate on why the
inquest was postponed and said that Sonnenberg is now taking all questions
related to the case. He did say that one reason for the postponement might be
that the influx of Allen & Company conferees is filling up all available hotel
Sonnenberg was unavailable for comment