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

Date: June 4, 2007

New Charge Filed in Boise County Shooting Death

(Boise) – The Attorney General’s Office has filed a new criminal complaint in the death of Wes Bennett, 46, of Horseshoe Bend. The complaint, filed in Fourth District Court in Idaho City / Horseshoe Bend, charges David L. Wallace, 43, also of Horseshoe Bend, with one count of voluntary manslaughter.

The complaint alleges that Wallace “on or about the 3rd day of August, 2006… did, upon a sudden quarrel and without malice aforethought, intentionally and unlawfully kill Wes Bennett, a human being, by shooting Wes Bennett with a Ruger .357 Magnum revolver, causing his death.”

The shooting happened on Cruickshank Road about six miles west of Gardena, Idaho. Wallace and Bennett were in the area working on a logging operation.

The Boise County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed a complaint on August 4, 2006, charging Wallace with second degree murder. The case was subsequently referred to the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit. On February 16, 2007, the Attorney General asked the district court to dismiss the complaint without prejudice. The court granted the motion on February 26, 2007. Dismissal “without prejudice” means that a prosecutor may file charges again later.

Following further investigation, the Attorney General’s Office filed the new complaint charging Wallace with voluntary manslaughter. “Our duty, as prosecutors, is to seek justice,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. “In light of the evidence in this case, we believe that the charge of voluntary manslaughter is the appropriate charge for a jury’s consideration.”

Wasden also said that a criminal complaint is merely a formal accusation and that persons accused of crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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