For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: September 30, 2004
Daniel Hunt Enters Guilty Plea to Battery
(Boise) - Daniel D. Hunt, 45, of Ketchum, pleaded guilty today to one count of misdemeanor battery. Hunt was involved in an altercation with Thomas Algiers on May 16, 2004.
Fifth District Magistrate Judge Ted Israel accepted Daniel Hunt's plea and sentenced him to 135 days in the Blaine County Jail. Hunt was credited for time served and released from custody.
The evidence in the case established that Daniel Hunt and Thomas Algiers were camping near the Big Wood River in Ketchum. Early in the morning of May 15, 2004, Hunt and Algiers got into a physical altercation initiated by Algiers. Hunt told officers that Algiers attempted to strangle him and that he hit Algiers a number of times over the head with a machete in an attempt to free himself. Once Algiers released Hunt from the stranglehold, Hunt kicked Algiers in the head with his bare foot and ran to the River Run Lodge to report the incident and to get help for Algiers.
Ketchum City Police Department Officers responded to the call as well as Blaine County Sheriff's Deputies Curtis Miller and Dale Stocking. In the course of a search in the darkness of the early hours, Tom Algiers came out of some thick brush and walked toward Deputies Miller and Stocking. Algiers was holding a knife with blades opened at each end. Although the deputies repeatedly ordered Algiers to drop the knife, Algiers continued toward the officers refusing to drop the knife and ordering them to drop their weapons. Deputy Miller shot Algiers twice. Thomas Algiers died as a result of one of the gun shots.
On September 1, 2004, a Blaine County Coroner's Jury determined that Deputy Miller's actions were justified when he shot Thomas Algiers. The Coroners Jury found that Deputy Miller fired two shots in self-defense.
Daniel Hunt was arrested on May 20, 2004 and charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault on Thomas Algiers. Hunt has been in the Blaine County Jail since that time.
"This is a tragic case by any definition," Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. "After many hours of interviews and investigation, my office determined that misdemeanor battery was the appropriate and fair charge against Mr. Hunt, as well as the only charge that the state could prove beyond a reasonable doubt."
Attorney General Wasden said his office will release the records of the investigation on October 8, 2004.
The Special Prosecutions Unit of the Attorney General's Criminal Law Division investigated and prosecuted the case at the request of Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas. Deputy Attorney General Jay F. Rosenthal prosecuted the case.
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