Stories Of Abused Men In Idaho


 

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Stories here are reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.

If you have, or know of a story about abused men that should be posted here please send it, or a link to comments@ejfi.org.

Stories

Bellevue woman kills ex-husband's fiancé about as easily as killing some cats

Woman arrested for solicitation to murder in Coeur d'Alene

Barbara Dehl, Spirit of Idaho, indicted on kidnapping charges

Arrest reveals the true Barbara Dehl by Kevin and Erica Neuendorf

Events of case should be a lesson to media, others by Brad W. Neuendorf

Accusers as "victims" — A case study of the David Dutt trial in Ada County

Real consequences —David Dutt from Boise

Colorado Springs woman shoots her partner in Bliss after being stopped by police


 

Bellevue woman kills ex-husband's fiancé about as easily as killing some cats

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November 12, 1998, Jerome (States News Service) — A 44-year-old Bellevue woman claims she killed another woman —in her words: "just about as easy as killing some cats."

Andra Jonas told an Idaho judge that her mother, Sandra, killed Meta Jones last month. The 17-year- old daughter pled guilty to being an accessory to the murder by helping her mother get rid of the body. She says her mother shot Jones, decapitated the body, and dumped it into a canal.

The victim was engaged to Sandra Jonas' ex- husband.


 

Woman arrested for solicitation to murder in Coeur d'Alene

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© 2004 by Dave Turner, Coeur d'Alene Press

Former Coeur d'Alene resident sought to disfigure woman over ex-boyfriend

November 5, 2004 — A former Coeur d'Alene woman is being held in the Kootenai County jail without bail pending a court appearance later today on charges she tried to have another woman disfigured or killed.

Coeur d'Alene Police arrested Valerie Hansen Colbert, 47, of Yakima, Wash., about noon Thursday for solicitation of murder.

Police said the woman contacted a 23-year-old Coeur d'Alene man early last month and offered to pay him $2,000 to disfigure a 45-year-old woman.

"The motive appears to be jealousy over an ex-boyfriend," said police spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood.

Wood said the intended victim is an acquaintance of Ms. Colbert's.

The man said Ms. Colbert, who he only knew as "Susan," contacted him asking if he wanted a job.

"The male said he did not know how the suspect got his number," Wood said.

The two arranged to meet in an elementary school parking lot last Friday afternoon.

Wood said Colbert told the man she wanted the woman permanently disfigured.

"The male told her he does not do that kind of work," Wood said.

Ms. Colbert then allegedly offered him a finder's fee if he knew anyone who did and gave the man her phone number.

Wood said the man discussed the request with his roommate. They both went to police.

Wood said an undercover detective working with the Kootenai County Joint Drug Task Force contacted Ms. Colbert by telephone and agreed to a meeting at a sports field on Ramsey Road about noon Thursday.

Wood said Colbert told the drug agent who she wanted killed and handed him an envelope with the money and instructions. Within minutes of making the deal, Ms. Colbert was arrested.

Valerie Colbert's only criminal record in Kootenai County is a ticket for illegally passing a school bus in 1999. It's unclear if she has a record in her new hometown of Yakima.

Idaho Code says solicitation carries the same maximum punishment as for an attempted crime, or half the maximum sentence for that crime. Murder is punishable by death or life imprisonment, with a minimum sentence of 10 years.

 

Dave Turner can be reached at 664-8176, ext. 2009 or at dturner@cdapress.com.


 

Barbara Dehl, Spirit of Idaho, indicted on kidnapping charges

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© 2005 KBCI News, Boise

Reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.

April 28, 2005, Boise (AP) — The Nampa mother who worked to change Idaho law when her daughter died in a [purported] domestic violence incident has been indicted on kidnapping charges.

The indictment of Barbara Dehl eliminates the need for a preliminary hearing and sends the case directly to Fourth District Court.

Dehl, her live-in-boyfriend Larry Dwight Hanslovan and Ronald Huntsman all were indicted in the closed grand jury hearing and await arraignment.

Police say Dehl and the two men kidnapped a young couple and interrogated them at gunpoint to determine if they stole drugs and money from Dehl's home. Police say they eventually let the couple go and focused on 22-year-old John Albert Schmeichel. His body was found last March in a shallow grave in the southwestern Idaho desert.

Police say he was shot and killed in Dehl's SUV.

Huntsman is charged with first-degree murder.

Arrest reveals the true Barbara Dehl by Kevin and Erica Neuendorf

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© 2005 Idaho Press-Tribune

Reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.

April 6, 2005 — How is it that former Spirit of Idaho recipient Barbara Dehl is behind bars today following charges of murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking? It's a tragic turn of events for someone not so long ago portrayed as a martyr by you and the Idaho Press-Tribune. It's sad that our family has had to wait until now to tell our side of the story, with anger and hate pent up in each of us hoping that one day the truth would be made evident.

She led many to believe that her daughter, Cassie, had been in an abusive relationship with my brother, Justin Neuendorf, enlisting many, including you, to help fight her emotional cause and bring an already aching family to its knees. We read the slanderous lies you printed, we heard the damaging accusations she bellowed from the steps of the Capitol, we cringed at the sight of her on "The Montel Williams Show" and stood in disbelief as this story made its way across the nation. Daily, we wondered aloud if anyone would ever know the type of person they chose to stand behind.

Well, today, you know exactly what many people tried to tell you all along. Barbara wasn't exactly who you all made her out to be. More importantly, the truth bears little resemblance to the story you let it become. Sadly, you flouted all rules of responsible journalism when you let Dehl skew reality and shape a tragic accident into a delusional lie.

Certainly, her story made for good reading and perhaps in your effort to gain readership or scoop your competitors, you leveraged her and this fictional story to the extent that you never truly captured the real story.

There was no truth behind any of that which she led you to believe. First, there was no evidence of any domestic violence occurring during the time that Justin and Cassie were dating. Second, my brother did not leave her to die that day his truck rolled to the bottom of a ravine. She died tragically in his arms that night, a result of a crushed aorta, and he then led his friend to safety so he would not perish as well.

What you would have discovered had you exercised due diligence as journalists was that Barbara was never the role model mother she wanted you to believe.

With her child gone, Dehl tried to make good on her inadequacies as a mother and rallied the support of those she knew could cut the deepest wound and fabricate a truly gripping tale.

The only element missing was truth. I, along with the rest of our family, very much resent the negative picture that has been painted of Justin, and the utter failure of most so-called "journalists" to check out both sides of the story. The grievous assassination of this young man's character in the media was uncalled for, and the facts of the situation were blurred by accusations and conjecture hatefully spewed by those that should have been most diligent in honoring Cassie's memory.

But now the real truth about who Barbara Dehl is has finally come out for those too shallow to ever have wanted to discover it in the first place. Today, the Neuendorf family, along with the friends and loved ones who stood together with us during this time, feel vindicated and relieved that, despite the loss of someone's life and the kidnappings, the truth can be told.

This is the first response our family has been able to print since that tragic day in December 1999. For years, we have wanted to speak out and tell our story but not many would listen, but now maybe they will. Now maybe they will check a source and not be manipulated by the emotional saga which she led many to believe. We have wanted to tell our story many times, but death threats, political agendas and possible legal actions have kept us silent.

Perhaps more than anything, Dehl's arrest can help us move on from Cassie's tragic death. Not a day goes by that my brother doesn't suffer as a result of that accident. He made the difficult choice to honor her memory by going on. His wounds run deep as do the wounds suffered by our family.

Sweet justice comes in knowing that this manipulative woman is now behind bars and those that helped propagate her lies now can see the error of their ways.

Kevin and Erica Neuendorf are residents of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Events of case should be a lesson to media, others by Brad W. Neuendorf

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© 2005 Idaho Press-Tribune

Reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.

For six years, my family has been drug through the mud by almost every politician, newspaper and TV station in Idaho along with numerous magazines and national television talk shows concerning the death of Cassie Dehl, the deceased fiancée of my brother, Justin Neuendorf.

The local and national press, along with the politicians, have spun the story so many directions without checking facts that the whole tragic accident has been skewed by speculation and accusations of domestic violence. There is absolutely no evidence other than one suspicious letter that gives any insight into alleged domestic violence between Justin and Cassie. Nonetheless, the media and politicians have used a tragic event for their personal gains.

What really happened that night rests with the three people involved in the accident. What we do know is that Cassie was never left to die. She died in a matter of minutes from a crushed aorta.

For years, my family and friends have had to suffer through the nonsense that was reported. We received numerous death threats because the media portrayed my brother as a murderer. Rather, he was one of three people involved in a horrific accident that led to the death of his future wife.

Our phone number had to be changed and unlisted. We lived with guns at every door, wondering when someone would act on a threat.

Now you know why we were so nervous. We knew exactly who we were dealing with, but you could not see through the immediate opportunity that was created for you. You took her story as gospel and neglected to check into a single fact.

In the past few articles about Barbara Dehl's arrest on felony drug trafficking and kidnapping charges, you have continued to fail to look into the depth of this case. People are hurt because they feel they have now lost a voice on domestic violence. Don't look at this as "losing a voice," but as a lesson on whose voice we listen to.

Cassie's death was in no way related to domestic violence, yet Cassie's Law is all about teens in violent dating relationships. Many have expressed sorrow for Dehl, saying that she may have turned to meth because of grief. Give me a break! A pipe and a small bag of pot maybe, but 4 pounds of methamphetamines? Can any of us really see that as a method of grieving? Let's not forget to ask where Cassie's "mom" was while she was growing up.

Let this be a lesson on handing out awards to impress constituents. Sen. Mike Crapo, if you believe that Barbara Dehl represents the "Spirit of Idaho" then I am ashamed to have you representing us.

The fine policemen of the Treasure Valley deserve a big thanks. You have finally allowed the truth to come out, and although many are still blinded and in disbelief, you have allowed my family to finally have a word. This is the first response our family has been able to print since that tragic day in December 1999.

For years we have wanted to speak out and tell our story but many would not listen. Now maybe they will. Now maybe they will check a source or find another side of the story. We have wanted to tell ours for years but death threats, political agendas and possible legal action has kept us silent.

Thanks to our friends who have shown support for my family. We, too, have suffered a terrible loss and it has been a very difficult time for my family, especially my brother. Your support and encouragement have helped him to stay with us and for that I can never say enough.

Finally, please stop using a beautiful young girl's death to further your own agendas. She is missed by many, especially my family who loved her like a daughter. Can we please let her finally rest in peace?

Brad W. Neuendorf is a resident of Riggins.

 

Accusers as "victims": A case study of the David Dutt trial

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© 2009 William N Grigg, Pro Libertate

Reproduced under the Fair Use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.

One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity...[A]t the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

Deuteronomy 19:15

May 21, 2009 — It would hardly be difficult to convict any man of child sex abuse if the prosecutor were provided with the following advantages:

• The accuser would be designated a "victim," and referred to as such in pre-trial hearings and during the trial, thereby leaving jurors predisposed to accept her allegations as fact;

• The trial judge grants a prosecution motion in limine (a request to exclude "prejudicial" evidence) forbidding the defense to call witnesses whose first-hand testimony would impeach the credibility of the accuser;

• In similar fashion, the judge prevents the defense from "prejudicing" the jury against the "victim" by referring to at least one previous occasion on which she made a false allegation of abuse;

• The accuser/ "victim" is permitted to change critical, materially relevant details of her story without being accused of perjury or simply impeached as unreliable;

• Even as the judge carefully shields the "victim" from adversarial scrutiny, he permits the prosecution to mention that the defendant had previously been the subject of an abuse investigation, without being charged, prosecuted, or convicted of any offense;

• Most egregiously, the judge permits the prosecution to present an "expert" witness to explain how the critical piece of exculpatory evidence in a child rape trial — a gynecological examination of the accuser showing perfectly normal physical development, including an intact hymen — was actually a common finding in child sexual abuse cases.

Indeed, just as the notorious "magic bullet" of Daley Plaza managed to defy established laws of physics, changing directions several times without losing its lethal velocity, the accuser's virginal membrane possessed magical properties that permitted it to survive repeated episodes of full intercourse forced upon the girl by her step-father, which supposedly began when the accuser was 12 and the accused was in his late 20s.

It is possible, albeit monumentally improbable, that a young girl could endure multiple sexual violations, including incestuous intercourse, without enduring physical trauma of the sort revealed in a detailed gynecological examination.

In the absence of corroborating evidence, however — such as eyewitness testimony, photographs, video, or perhaps an item of intimate apparel infused, Clinton-style, with DNA from the accused — a normal examination should be enough to shut down a prosecution cold. All that would be left is the word of the accuser, which — under the tenets of Western law as old as Moses — is not enough to secure a conviction.

Yet it's likely that every week, if not every day, people (usually men, although women are hardly immune) are convicted of sex crimes and sent to prison following "trials" that follow the template described above.

The word of a single accuser is considered the self-ratifying testimony of the "victim," exculpatory physical evidence is suppressed or explained away; the defense is forbidden to impeach the credibility of the accuser, while the prosecution is free from any similar restrictions in assailing the character of the accused; and a presumption of guilt informs the entire proceeding.

Often such trials partake of "magical thinking" of the sort that led credulous officials in 17 th Century Salem to accept "spectral evidence" — dreams and visions in which the disembodied spirits of the accused supposedly committed vile acts while their physical bodies were in another location — as a valid rebuttal to an otherwise unassailable alibi.

Once those convicted in such "trials" serve their sentences, most of them — including at least some people who are victims of grotesque injustice — can be designated "sexually dangerous persons" who will never fully regain their freedom. In fact, a law enacted in 2006 permits the open-ended "civil confinement" of paroled sex offenders within the federal prison system. This amounts to a potential life sentence inflicted on the basis of crimes yet to be committed, since "civil confinement" only begins after the detainee has served the prescribed sentence for the crimes of which he was convicted.

Some innocent people caught in the coils of this system find themselves in a uniquely painful predicament: To obtain parole and a chance to rebuild their lives, they must allocute to the offense for which they were convicted.

In some cases, this confession is coupled with a polygraph examination, which puts genuinely innocent people in an inescapable double-bind: If they assert their innocence, they will be denied parole; if they falsely confess to the charges, they'll most likely fail the polygraph examination, with the same result.

Real consequences —David Dutt from Boise

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Boise resident David Shawn Dutt has lived every element of that nightmare since being accused in 2001 — along with his then-wife Terry — of sexually abusing his ex wife Terry's daughter, S., for more than two years, beginning in 1999.

At the time the abuse supposedly began, S. — Terry's child from a previous marriage — was 12 years old. David was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor, including full-fledged intercourse. Terry was arrested on charges of sexual battery, sexual solicitation of a minor, and failing to report abuse (the first charge was dropped before trial).

The prosecution presented the same evidence against David and Terry. David was convicted on all counts; Terry was acquitted. That disparity of outcome is sufficient — but hardly the only — reason to entertain misgivings about the soundness of the verdict, since the prosecution was permitted to full use of the tactics discussed above.

No diary or journal entries by S. describing abuse were entered into evidence. And S.'s testimony during the trial differed in numerous small but significant ways from the story she had previously told to the police and social workers.

Most importantly, a detailed medical examination carried out when S. was 14 and a half years old, and had supposedly endured several years of sexual molestation — including numerous episodes of full intercourse — found no anatomical evidence of abuse of any kind.

That examination (described in an official report to which the author has been given access) revealed that S.'s private anatomy was normal, the hymeneal membrane fully intact.

All of this adds up to a very compelling case for reasonable doubt — unless, of course, one is possessed of the sort of mind-set that considers "spectral evidence" to be credible. Regrettably, the Ada County Prosecutor's office has just such a person in its employ: Deputy Prosecutor Jean Fisher, who has been handling sex crime cases for that office since 1989.

The entire case against David rested on the "disclosures" — that is, allegations — made by the "victim" — which is to say, the accuser. And Fisher's opening statement was built around a trope quite common in child abuse prosecutions: The jury must honor the "courage" of the "victim" by believing her testimony.

"[I]t takes a very brave child to come forward in a case such as this to escape specific...fears," such as the "fear of not being believed," insisted Fisher in her address to the jury.

"But she's a brave girl and she's here to tell you what has happened to her. And, Ladies and Gentlemen, when you hear the descriptions, when you hear what comes out of her mouth as she describes these acts you will have no doubt in your mind that this defendant systematically sexually abused her over and over and over again...."

Of course, in the Anglo-Saxon system of justice, the precise duty of the jury is to doubt the word of an accuser until that burden of doubt is overcome by a suitable preponderance of evidence. That duty is the same even when the accuser is a winsome, sympathetic young girl claiming to be the victim of unspeakably vile acts.

In her opening statement, Fisher obliquely admitted, in an elliptical and artfully dishonest fashion, that there was no evidence S. had been involved in any sexual activity, whether consensual or abusive:

"[Y]ou'll hear about...the medical condition which involves the her, the estrogenization of the hymen and those sorts of things, and Miss Henbest will be able to explain for you the process of — of how that works, and that there aren't physical findings in a case such as this."

"Miss Henbest" was the prosecution's star "expert witness," Margaret Henbest — a nurse practitioner, not an M.D., and a former member of the Idaho Legislature. She was the medical professional who conducted the medical examination of S. immediately following the youngster's first abuse allegation.

It was Ms. Henbest — not S. — whom the prosecution chose as its lead witness, and in cross-examination she admitted that there was no evidence that abuse had occurred.

The admission is recorded on page 459 of the trial transcript, lines 3-7, in an exchange between Ms. Henbest and defense counsel Dennis Weigt:

Q. The hymen was actually normal genitalia and didn't — your physical examination didn't reveal any indication of sexual abuse; isn't that correct? [Emphasis added.]

A. That's correct.

At this point, Mr. Weigt should have asked the witness to be excused and made a motion for a summary judgment: The prosecution's star witness had just admitted that there was no evidence to corroborate the accuser's story. Whether or not that motion had been granted, it would have impressed upon the minds of the jury the utter poverty of the prosecution's case.

In fact, Weigt should have made that motion immediately following Fisher's opening statement to the jury, in which she outlined a prosecution case that fell far short of meeting its burden of proof. At the very least, he should have focused with laser-like coherence on the fact that even before any evidence had been presented to the jury, Ms. Fisher was admitting that there was no physical evidence of abuse.

Instead of attacking the prosecution at its most vulnerable point, Weigt offered a diffuse and rambling summation of the defense's theory of the case, which was that S. was "a very mature, very knowledgeable girl" who was angry and frustrated over domestic responsibilities she was given at home, and desirous of living with her maternal grandmother. From this perspective, the abuse accusations were the product of adolescent spite, and the detailed descriptions offered by S. reflected what she had synthesized from vulgar entertainment, material presented at school, and what she had learned in candid discussions of sexuality with her parents.

Weigt did make one telling point in his opening presentation. David Dutt had a flawless alibi on the only specific date offered by S. on which sexual intercourse supposedly occurred: He was in the hospital with his wife while their son was delivered by an emergency c-section; S., on the other hand, went home with her grandmother, where she stayed for the next several days.

Once that allegation was tested in court, however, S.'s specific recollection suddenly became very approximate, at least as far as the date was concerned.

The trial judge, Fourth District Judge Thomas Neville, again proved helpful to the prosecution by instructing the jury that "the State only has to prove on or about these time frames" in which the abuse allegedly occurred.

What this meant, in practical terms, was that the jury not only was to accept S.'s unsupported word that the abuse took place, but give her generous leeway regarding self-contradiction for the specific purpose of nullifying David Dutt's otherwise invincible alibi.

"She knows that she had intercourse with the defendant, David Dutt the night of [the son's] birth," Fisher insisted in her closing statement. "She believes in her heart it was the night [the son] was born. Now, if you think she's confused, that it maybe was the second night or the third night before [the son] came home, or that it's possible she could have been confused, but you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that it happened, it [the specific date] doesn't matter."

Oh, yes it does matter — or it would in any trial held under legitimate rules of evidence. What Fisher was demanding of the jury — with the support of Judge Neville — was a standard of proof functionally indistinguishable from the Salem Witch Trial's notion of "spectral evidence." In Salem the prosecutors could dispense with an alibi by insisting that the accused could be two places at once; in the trial of David Dutt, the judge and prosecutor insisted that the accuser could alter critical details of her story in order to get around an alibi.

Jean Fisher's summation to the jury was an Oprah-magnitude onslaught of unalloyed sentimentalism, a blast of unfiltered bathos worthy of a Daytime Emmy.

"Today, S. is a victim," Fisher insisted. "The future will determine if she is a survivor.... After hearing from S., after seeing her pain, after seeing her presentation and how she suffered up here, can there be any doubt in your minds that she has been sexually abused repeatedly by her stepfather?"

The critical word omitted by Fisher is "reasonable" — that is, the product of logic. "Reasonable doubt" results from a dispassionate examination of provable facts by jurors who understand that the word of an accuser is never sufficient evidence to convict the accused. That quality of intellect called "reason" dictates that accusations are never self-validating, and that this is true even when the accuser undergoes visible distress and "pain" as she makes unsupported accusations.

Perhaps the greatest scandal in this entire affair is that there wasn't a single juror with the intellectual ballast necessary to keep from being swept away by the gale-force blasts of emotion, and the leadership ability necessary to help others recognize the pervasive grounds for acquittal on the basis of reasonable doubt.

"You are a brave girl," gushed Judge Neville to S. as he prepared to sentence David Dutt. "You're a courageous girl." Turning to Dutt, Neville upbraided him for having the temerity to deny S.'s accusations; the very act of doing so, Judge Neville insisted, demonstrated that Dutt's capacity for rehabilitation was unacceptably low.

"You are in denial even after these verdicts," growled Judge Neville at Dutt.

"I believe that society does require protection from you. I believe that you are a clear and present and likely to be a future danger to society, and all of those factors militate toward a substantial prison sentence."

In addition to being required to register as a sex offender, Dutt was given a 20-year prison term: ten years fixed, and ten years contingent on his "rehabilitation," which — as noted above — requires that he confess to what remains, the verdict notwithstanding, unproven allegations, and pass a lie detector test certifying that he believes himself to be guilty.

This relatively brief capsule summary of David Dutt's trial doesn't even begin to address the irregularities, implausibilities, and improprieties that are deployed in dense-pack in this case. It is presently on appeal to the state supreme court, and the persistence of both David and his father Dale in seeking to overturn the conviction has produced some interesting shock waves within Idaho's criminal "justice" system — something about which I'll have more to say in future installments.

An attorney and several other qualified observers of the Ada County justice system have informed me that Jean Fisher boasts a conviction rate north of ninety percent. If the prosecution of David Dutt is typical of her approach, and the latitude she is given by trial judges, that claim is entirely believable, and a compelling illustration of the fact that there is no justice to be found in our "justice" system.


 

Colorado Springs woman shoots her partner in Bliss after being stopped by police

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Abstracted from articles by Alison Gene Smith and Joe Cadotte , MagicValley.com

Officer involved shooting in Bliss leaves two in critical condition

February 3, 2014 —Two people are in critical condition after a car chase ended with an officer involved shooting outside a Bliss motel about 3 AM Sunday, said Gooding County Sheriff Shaun Gough.

At about 2:30 AM police pulled a car over in Mountain Home for no headlights but the driver fled on eastbound Interstate-84. Two Elmore County deputies chased the car to the Y Inn Motel in Bliss where Gooding County deputies got involved.

The male passenger got out of the car with his hands in the air as ordered by deputies. Then Hollee R. Johnston, 39, of Colorado Springs, shot her male passenger, Ronald Walter Rice, 40, then pointed her firearm at deputies, whereupon one of the deputies shot her.

Ms. Johnston and Mr. Rice were then airlifted to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise where they are in critical condition under officer guard.

No law enforcement personnel were injured in the incident. The deputy who shot the driver was put on administrative leave as is standard procedure in officer involved shootings.

Hollee Johnston will be charged with aggravated assault and may face drug charges as well. Deputies haven't determined a motive for the shooting, as they have not interviewed either patient.

Rice has felony arrest warrants out of Colorado for burglary and possessing dangerous drugs.

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