- Missing Jackson woman found dead in Bollinger County pond (06/23/16)2
- Village of Zalma must disincorporate, law says (06/23/16)5
- I want an angry president (06/21/16)15
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
- Man allegedly kicks woman, punches man after denied a sexual favor (06/23/16)
- Witness says he saw suspect kill his best friend (06/24/16)
- Jackson man accused of felony assault after attack at Cape bar (06/24/16)4
- Advance graduate will become superintendent of its schools (06/21/16)1
- Odd court hearing ends with judge declaring probable cause in abuse case (06/22/16)4
- Business notebook: Plastics firm moves to area to help laid-off workers (06/20/16)1
Appeals court vacates Ruby Ridge ruling
SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal appeals court Friday vacated its June decision that said an FBI sharpshooter may be tried for manslaughter when he killed Vicki Weaver during the Ruby Ridge standoff.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on June 5 rejected federal claims that Lon Horiuchi was immune from prosecution because he was acting in his official capacity when he killed Randy Weaver's wife. Ruling 6-5, the circuit at the time said Horiuchi could be tried if he was found to have acted illegally in that official capacity.
Friday's decision has no bearing on the case because a federal judge already dismissed charges at the request of Boundary County Prosecutor Brett Benson. After the court's June ruling, Benson declined to prosecute and U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge dismissed the case.
The court said it vacated its ruling because it has now become "moot." The court did not elaborate.
In legal terms, the decision means there is now no precedent on whether federal agents are immune from state prosecution for alleged wrongdoing committed while working in an official capacity.
The federal government, which claimed that its agents are immune from state prosecutions, vowed to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court but did not after Benson declined to prosecute Horiuchi.
Vicki Weaver died on the second day of an 11-day siege at the couple's northern Idaho cabin in 1992. The siege began with a shootout in which the Weavers' teen-age son and a deputy U.S. marshal were killed.
Horiuchi has said he didn't see Vicki Weaver, who witnesses say was killed as she held open the door of the cabin, her baby in her arms.