IDAHO FALLS -- An Idaho politician arrested on his way to a news conference, is facing charges of influencing a jury.
Rex Rammell is a former gubernatorial candidate, who was awaiting trial for illegal possession of an elk. Rammell said he thought the tag he had allowed him to hunt in any area. But now he's facing another charge.
It happened at the Bonneville County courthouse in Eastern Idaho. Rammell had announced a news conference to answer the influencing a jury charge, and according to Rammell, to turn himself in. But he never made it to the presser.
Three Bonneville County Deputies were waiting for Rammell, arresting him before he got to the courthouse, where he was going to hold his news conference.
"I talked to Sheriff (deputy) Lovell yesterday," said Rammell, while being handcuffed and led to a patrol car. "I said I was turning myself in. I came down here to do it, and now they're handcuffing me, and treating me like a criminal. This is unnecessary, I am a good citizen!"
Rammell continued talking to reporters, as deputies were trying to put him into the car.
"All I was doing, was trying to inform the jury of their rights," said Rammell. "These guys have to arrest me, and make this a major case."
Rammell is on trial for illegally killing a cow elk in Eastern Idaho last November. But this latest charge has to do with passing out these fliers to potential jurors outside the courthouse. It's entitled "The Jury's Secret Power," and directs the jurors to follow their conscience and judge the law, as well as the facts.
"It's not a felony to inform the jury of their rights," said Rammell. Then, after a reporter said that prosecutors say he tampered with the jury, Rammell retorted, "Well, that's what they say, but we'll prove that it's not."
Rammell says the fliers contain basic, generic information, easily found on-line and that he was merely trying to inform the jurors of their rights.
But in Idaho, it's a felony for anyone to attempt to corruptly influence a juror, like with written communication. After an investigation, a warrant was issued for Rammell's arrest Tuesday, and he was taken in Thursday.
Rammell says he'll continue fighting the poaching charge, and this latest charge of influencing a jury, saying that he's confident that it will never stick.
He claims that prosecutors will be embarrassed, when it's all over.
Rammell is out on bond now. He will be back in court for the poaching charge on June 30th.