ADAMS COUNTY -- The family of a Council rancher who was fatally shot by two Adams County Sheriff's Office deputies in 2015 filed motion for a wrongful death lawsuit against the Adams County Sheriff's Office Friday.
Jack Yantis, 62, was killed Nov. 1, 2015 after dispatchers asked him to put down one of his bulls, which had wandered onto the highway and been hit by a car.
After Yantis walked down to the highway below his ranch, armed with a rifle to kill the bull, he was shot by deputies Cody Roland and Brian Wood.
The motion was filed in federal court by Yantis' wife Donna Yantis, his daughters Sarah and Lauretta Yantis, and his nephew Rowdy Paradis. The family is represented by attorney Chuck Peterson.
Wood and Roland told investigators that after Yantis arrived to shoot the bull, he aimed in a way that put emergency responders downrange of his shot at risk.
The deputies say they intervened, then opened fire on the rancher after he pointed his gun at Roland and fired once.
Yantis' family has contested that account, saying the rancher was aiming at the bull when one deputy grabbed him and jerked him backward, causing him to inadvertently pull the trigger of his rifle.
"Jack never attempted to reload - the casing of the single bullet fired from his rifle remained in the chamber," the filing reads. "Jack never even regained his balance. The Deputies shot with intent to kill Jack, rather than to warn or injure him."
Yantis was shot a total of 12 times and died at the scene.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced in July 2016 that no criminal charges would be filed against the deputies for shooting Yantis. After reviewing more than 5,000 pages of reports, lab results and witness statements, the evidence was "insufficient to support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt," the attorney general said.
Adams County's response to the lawsuit is due by Nov. 3, according to court records. Sheriff Ryan Zollman and both deputies are also named in the suit.
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