Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun released his review of the September 21st officer involved shooting at Walmart in Riverton today. Of note in the review, the attorney takes issue with the Fremont County Coroner’s handling and influence on the case. The excerpt below details the Lebrun’s concern. You can read the full report here.
“Even though a final determination has been made, the Coroner in Fremont County insists on a public display that can serve no purpose. It seems only to delay that healing process, while putting the Officer, and numerous other private citizens, through an unnecessary, expensive and possibly humiliating public spectacle. Further, this office has grave concerns regarding Due Process for the officer under the current procedure used by the Coroner. Earlier in 2019, the Coroner held an inquest. He specifically invited his 3-person, hand-selected jury to comment on the Officers’ actions. That is very problematic because our Coroner is not a lawyer, and is not able to instruct the jurors, properly, on the Wyoming jurisprudence of self-defense and defense of others. No person’s actions should be scrutinized and analyzed under incorrect presentations and assumptions of the law.
Steps have already been taken by the Coroner that highlight issues with the defective process when he indicated his desire to hand pick a person that has drawn conclusions, and publicly stated her bias against this Officer’s actions. That is not an impartial juror. I cannot stop him; however, I am informing the community of the nature of the process, and know that the people of our community will recognize the inquest for what it is. Further, the community may reflect on holding a taxpayer-funded hearing when all determinations have been made in the case, and when according to Wyoming law and the Wyoming Supreme Court, the process the Coroner intends to use “has no probative effect.” Cassidy v. Teton County Coroner (In re Birkholz), 2019 WY 19.
Under Wyoming law, the Officer, under these facts, had the absolute right to defend his own life, and the lives of the several people within his immediate vicinity, with deadly force. Every action the Officer took was proper and lawful.
This Office will take no further action.
APPROVED AND ADOPTED:
S/ Patrick J. LeBrun
Patrick J. LeBrun
Fremont County Attorney”
The previous story developments can be followed at the links below.