Friday, October 10, 2014

Police: Ongoing dispute led to battery charges

Neighbors at Valley View Apartments allegedly engaged in feud


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

    A fight involving a baseball bat and a hatchet last week in Hailey stemmed from an ongoing dispute between two residents of the Valley View Apartments in the north part of the city, police said.
    In the alleged incident, both William E. Minear, who fought with the bat, and Walter “Butch” Cochran, who had the hatchet, received head injuries in an altercation in Cochran’s apartment on Oct. 1. Both men were transported by ambulance and treated at St. Luke’s Wood River hospital.
Minear, 35, has been charged with two felonies, burglary and aggravated battery, and remains incarcerated in the Blaine County jail on $50,000 bond. Cochran, 56, was not charged with a crime because he was allegedly attacked at his home and the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has determined that he acted in self-defense.
It was not the first fight between the men, police said. According to police reports, they are both charged with misdemeanor battery and disturbing the peace for a fight the evening of Sept. 18 outside of Minear’s apartment.
    “We responded over there to a harassment complaint that turned into a fight between William and Butch,” Hailey police Lt. Steve England said Thursday.
    Both men were arraigned on the charges in Blaine County Magistrate Court on Sept. 29. Both pleaded not guilty and pretrial conferences for both men are scheduled for Oct. 20 before Judge R. Ted Israel.
    England said police have investigated prior complaints made by Minear or his family against Cochran but that there has not been sufficient evidence for any other charges to be filed.
    “It’s an ongoing dispute that definitely escalated into something with serious injury,” England said, referring to the Oct. 1 altercation.




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