Wednesday, March 26, 2008

All ears

Ketchum's finest have a lot of explaining to do and the Idaho attorney general's office appears ready to listen.

The public is all ears, too.

Last week, 5th District Judge Barry Wood dismissed a felony second-degree attempted homicide charge against a woman who allegedly tried to shoot a former boyfriend in his home.

Wood dismissed the charge at the behest of Blaine County Prosecutor Jim Thomas, who told the court that he couldn't prosecute the case because of errors by Ketchum police.

Thomas scored and scorned the Ketchum Police Department in an unusual statement to the court. He pointed to serious errors in judgment and protocol.

He stated that documentation identifying evidence had been "neglectfully and erroneously entered, misleadingly created, and/or willingly destroyed."

He wrote further, "As such, this substandard investigation becomes an insurmountable obstacle to admittance of the evidence and creates severe credibility issues regarding the Ketchum police officers' testimony in the case."

Without such errors, Thomas said he believed the case could have gone forward.

Strong words from someone who works with police all the time.

The only crime that remains is that there will likely be no justice for the victim or the public.

When the attorney general's office completes its investigation of the botched case, a report should be made public, and the Ketchum mayor should take action to ensure that this never happens again.

Public safety depends on it.

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