Family of slain Idaho rancher sues for wrongful death |

Family of slain Idaho rancher sues for wrongful death

Monica Gokey
for Tri-State Livestock News

Nearly two years after a 62-year-old Idaho rancher was fatally shot by two police deputies, his family is seeking justice in federal court. The family of Jack Yantis filed a wrongful death lawsuit Oct. 13.

Central Idaho rancher Jack Yantis was called to the scene of a vehicular accident, where a couple of newlyweds had collided with one of Yantis’ bulls. Dispatchers asked him to euthanize the animal.

Yantis walked down to the scene of the accident armed with a rifle to dispatch the injured bull.

The two responding deputies said Yantis aimed at the bull in a way that put emergency responders down-range at risk, and intervened when Yantis pointed his rifle at one of the officers.

The Yantis family has a different version of the story.

Witnesses from the Yantis family, including his wife and daughter, say Jack was aiming at the bull when one of the deputies jerked him backward, causing him to misfire. Deputies then shot him twelve times. He died at the scene.

The two deputies involved in the shooting were cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the Idaho Attorney General’s office last year.

In the lawsuit, Yantis’ wife says she was handcuffed and held at gunpoint immediately following the fatal shooting of her husband. Yantis’ daughter, also at the scene, says the other deputy put an AR-15 to the back of her head. Both women say they feared for

their lives. Emotional distress, assault and battery, false imprisonment, and wrongful death are among the charges in the civil suit. The amount of damages being sought by the Yantis family is unspecified.


January 1, 2020

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