Coroners Inquest in Officer-Involved Shooting Scheduled for December 8 in Hamilton [AUDIO]
A Coroner’s Inquest is tentatively scheduled for Monday, December 8, at 9:00 a.m., in the Ravalli County Courthouse, regarding the March 6, 2014 officer-involved shooting at 808 Cuf Lane, in Hamilton.
Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright described the fatal shooting incident.
"While on patrol duty, Deputy Tod Wofford responded to a call for assistance at the residence of 47 year-old Lonnie Gene Roberts on Cuf Lane," Fulbright said. "Once there, Mr. Roberts accessed a shotgun, and in response, ended up being shot by Deputy Wofford."
On the night of the incident, Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman asked the Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation to conduct the investigation into this shooting, a step commonly taken by law enforcement agencies in these circumstances. The independent investigation is now complete and has been delivered to Fulbright in preparation for this inquest.
In these circumstances,Montana law requires the County Attorney to impanel a jury of 6 to 12 citizens for a coroner’s inquest, to be presided over by a civilian coroner. An inquest jury reviews the evidence from the investigation, and determines whether the shooting was justified under Montana law. An inquest is a public proceeding designed to allow the community an opportunity to understand the circumstances and details surrounding the incident, and will be open to the public.
Powell County Coroner John Pohle will preside over the inquest.
Fulbright said that December 8 is a tentative date, as there are some involved in the process that may not be available at that time. A further announcement will be forthcoming from the Ravalli County Attorney's office.
Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright