For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: October 30, 2006

Attorney General Concludes Investigation into Death of Challis Bar Owner

(Boise) – The Office of Attorney General has closed the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of William D. Green and will not be filing criminal charges, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Deputy Attorney General Steve Bywater, Chief of the Attorney General’s Criminal Law Division, advised Custer County Prosecuting Attorney Kurt Thomsen of the decision today.

Green, the owner of Perk’s Bar in Challis, died October 16, 2005, after an altercation with Joshua Hale of Mackay. Green was 63 years old at the time of his death.

Eight witnesses interviewed by the Attorney General’s investigator were consistent in their statements that, after a discussion outside the bar with Hale and others, Green had gone back inside. The witnesses stated that Hale then opened the door of the bar and said something, although they offer various statements as to what Hale said. All eight witnesses were consistent in stating that Green then came back outside and tried to strike Joshua Hale. The witnesses all stated that Hale swung back at Green, but did not strike him. Green then fell backwards, hitting his head on the pavement.

Dr. Steve Skoumal, a forensic pathologist, determined that Green died from a skull fracture at the base of his skull.

“Our investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of William D. Green did not reveal evidence sufficient to support criminal charges against Joshua Hale or any other person as a result of the death,” Bywater wrote in a letter to Thomsen. “Our prosecutorial review of the facts developed by the investigation has led us to the conclusion that there is insufficient evidence to support and prove criminal charges based upon this unfortunate death.”

The Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit investigated and reviewed the case at the request of former Custer County Prosecuting Attorney James Smirch.

The Attorney General’s Office has released the records of the closed investigation. Citizens may obtain a copy of the records on compact disc by making a written request addressed to: Public Records Request, Office of the Attorney General, 700 W. State St., P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0010.

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