Monday, August 1, 2016

Beware, Adams County: A "Sociopath" Will Soon Return to Duty

“I’m a man of faith, and I believe nothing happens without a reason,” insisted Adams County Sheriff Ryan Zollman after Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden placed the state’s imprimatur on the murder of Council rancher Jack Yantis. To the family and friends of the man who had been gunned down without cause by two of his deputies, Zollman recommended that they accept this betrayal with pious stoicism: “Leave this to a higher power watching over us.”

Adams County residents in the habit of praying would be well-advised to petition Providence for protection, and unbelievers who reside there would be wise to take up that habit. Sheriff Zollman is about to unleash a bloody-handed sociopath on the public. 

Lt. Phillips
“He’s startin’ to fit the pattern of a sociopath,” McCall Police Officer Josh Johnson told Lt. Steven Phillips of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, according to a lengthy – and heavily redacted – interview Phillips gave to two Idaho State Police investigators following the November 1st shooting.  (That interview begins at page 802 of the 928-page compilation of reports and interviews released by the Idaho AG’s office.) 

The subject of that interview was Adams County Deputy Brian Wood, who along with Deputy Cody Roland unloaded twelve rounds into Yantis on the night of November 1st after the rancher had been summoned by the sheriff’s office to kill a bull that had been struck by a car on Highway 95. Roland and Wood insist that they acted in self-defense after Yantis supposedly pointed his bolt-action rifle at them. Eyewitnesses, including Yantis’s wife Donna and family friend Rowdy Paradis, report that one of the deputies grabbed the rancher from behind, causing him to stumble, and then the officers shot him in a sudden fit of unaccountable panic.

As Mundanes, Donna Yantis and Mr. Paradis are considered unqualified to testify regarding the exercise of lethal force by two of the state’s consecrated purveyors of sanctified violence. The propriety of an act of state-sanctioned killing is assessed on the basis of the inescapably self-serving “reasonable officer” standard, which is inscrutable to lesser breeds without the badge. 

Deputies Roland and Wood were never in serious jeopardy of criminal prosecution. As is the case in every fatal police shooting, the killers were designated the “victims,” and the man they killed was identified as the “suspect.” Attorney General Wasden’s official letter announcing that no charges would be filed against the killers carefully insinuates that Yantis was an “angry” and drunken man who precipitated his own violent death, and was largely to blame
for it. 

The man they murdered: Yantis with grandchild.
Yantis’s killers have not missed a paycheck since they gunned down the man they had called to help them perform a mildly dangerous task that exceeded their competence.   Sheriff Zollman informed the Idaho Statesman that since Wasden has certified that “the officers did their job and weren’t excessive in doing so,” the killers would soon be returning to duty. 

This means that Brian Wood, who became the subject of an “officer safety alert” following a domestic dispute with his wife last December, will once again be vested with the supposed authority to detain citizens and use lethal force if they refuse to submit. 

“If cops are involved, shots will be fired,” Wood reportedly told William “Chip” Gallagher, his father-in-law. Wood was described as “a highly trained sniper” believed to have “demolition capabilities and access to explosives. 

“I don’t know how much you guys know into [Wood’s] background, but he – he is an advanced, skilled sniper,” Lt. Phillips told ISP investigators. “I mean, I sent him to the FBI academy … their advance sniper school and he came out on top.”

Phillips had made Wood a firearms instructor for the ADSO, and his wife had become close friends with Wood’s now-estranged spouse. Following the shooting, Wood had become separated from his wife, and appeared to descend into something resembling a psychosis. 

On several occasions, Phillips told the ISP, Wood suggested “he was gonna hurt himself … he goes back and forth on either goin’ to another country or killin’ himself.” In at least one of those instances, Phillips recounted, he indicated that he was no longer interested in fleeing to Latin America, but was “talkin’ about blowin’ himself up.”

This December 29th conversation took place in Phillips’ pickup truck. Worried that Wood was an incipient murder-suicide, Phillips told him that “I’m gonna handle this the law enforcement way…. [W]e’re gonna go ahead and get an endangerment hold on ya.”
At this point, Wood “literally turned in his seat and squared off with me and stuck his hand down by his gun. He says, `There will be gunfire if … we go this route.’” 

That was not the last time Wood threatened to murder fellow law enforcement officers. He also reportedly threatened to kill the family’s dogs. Yet Phillips and other officers allowed him free rein -- which left Phillips’ wife horrified that the preservation of Wood’s Blue Privilege could have lethal consequences for his wife – who was also her close friend. 

“You need to stop lookin’ at this as a … friend helpin’ a friend, and start lookin’ at this as a cop,” his wife chastised him, according to Phillips’ account.  Of course, the problem was precisely that Phillips was acting like a cop – someone loyal to the Blue Tribe – rather than a peace officer acting to protect the public. This might explain why his wife revised her admonition: “Stop lookin’ at this as … a buddy helpin’ a buddy or a fellow cop helpin’ a fellow cop.’”

As Phillips discussed the matter with McCall Police Officer Josh Johnson and McCall Police Chief Justin Williams, both agreed that Wood was displaying sociopathic tendencies. Contingency plans were made to carry out a major operation involving several agencies – the ADSO, the Valley County Sheriff’s Office, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, the McCall Police Department – in the event that Wood “loses his job or loses his guns.” 

Deputy Wood – who claims that he was trained by the Navy SEALs -- had pointedly mentioned to Phillips that his home was situated atop a hill with a commanding view of every possible approach. He also possessed “some exceptional – probably the best on the market sniper equipment…. Down to a $9,000 night vision scope.”

All of this was known to the ISP, the FBI, and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office. This is why an officer safety bulletin was quietly issued on January 22nd – but the public was not made aware that a heavily armed, taxpayer-subsidized sociopath was on the loose.

Wood, who had killed one senior citizen, severely beaten another, and had explicitly threatened to kill police officers, was never taken into custody. That type of treatment is reserved for annoying Mundanes like Meridian resident Matthew Townsend, who was charged with “witness intimidation” for a Facebook post criticizing Meridian Police Officer Richard Brockbank, an officious costumed coward who arrested Townsend without cause or justification. 
"No f****n' clue": Zollman.
Phillips, to his credit, defied Sheriff Zollman’s demand that he redact his report regarding Wood’s threat to his family and fellow officers. 

“I said, `I’m not redactin’ sh*t,’” Phillips recalled to the ISP. He grudgingly told the investigators that “my Sheriff and Undersheriff [are] good guys, but don’t have a f***in’ clue how to do their job. They’re in way over their head and with this they have no clue what to do.”
That much is screamingly obvious to any sentient observer. 

Bearing in mind Deputy Phillips’ concern that Wood might go on a killing spree if he lost his job, one must ask: Did that possibility color the Attorney General’s conclusions? Did the sacred responsibility to protect the lives of police officers who might be killed in a confrontation with Wood play a role in the decision to clear him, thereby allowing him to resume his career as a state-licensed menace to the hapless residents of Adams County?

This week's Freedom Zealot Podcast likewise deals with the murder of Jack Yantis and the insuperable Blue Privilege that protects his killers:

Dum spiro, pugno!


Elmo said...

On page 236 of the Incident Summary:

a witness named Tamara Sue Evanow stated that Jack Yantis' rifle was still pointing in the direction of the bull when she heard the first shots fired.
I'm assuming that the person who was hollering 'Shoot that thing' was Brian Wood, who I believe was already ticked off that Jack had insulted his 'prized' short barreled AR15.

I find it interesting that Ms. Evanow's account wasn't of interest to the ISP investigators. But then again I think I know why it wasn't.

Thanks for your work on this, Mr. Grigg. I wanted to e-mail you about this, but I couldn't find your contact information anywhere.

kirk said...

it is impossible for me to tell who is the craziest among those listed considering the actions/words of wood and 'officialdom'.

this is absolutely incredible!

make no mistake: wood will become WORSE because of the way this has been handled. what then?

people like wood eventually run up on the wrong type, act as they usually do, with the outcome not quite as they thought and radically different from their previous bullying and murdering intents and actions, followed by printing of the obituary of the bullying murderer.

it is too bad that such types as wood are not stopped BEFORE such events takes place. in the end, fault and cause can be laid square at the feet of 'officialdom' in addition to the murderous lunatic they protected and sent back out with predictable results.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>>... Following the shooting, Wood had become separated from his wife, and appeared to descend into something resembling a psychosis.

Oh, I have no doubt he was already psychotic long before that. He was already psychotic when he applied for a LEO job. Most of 'em are.

>>... On several occasions, Phillips told the ISP, Wood suggested “he was gonna hurt himself ... he was “talkin’ about blowin’ himself up.”

I, for one, hope he does just that. And soon. My Christian charity has been worn threadbare.

~ D-FensDogG
'Loyal American Underground'

Squirrelly said...

Oh, the irony of "law and order" in this US of A. You know my situation, Will. Sure hope I don't become a target. The other deputy has threatened legal action against me already. And dialing 9-1-1 for me would bring Zollman or one of his compliant deputies.

Aaron Swenson said...

I hope he doesn't blow himself up. I hope he gets Eric Frein'd.

Anonymous said...

Donna - North Dakota

My post was lost, but want this bit of history to be appreciated on the 70th anniversary of its occurrence.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for writing this. It is a very clear, concise and above all else entirely true account of the kind of crap we have been putting up with since the moron Ryan Zollman won the election three long years ago. His deputies have raped a drunken woman in a patrol car, assaulted and severly injured a 74-year old woman during a suspected DUI stop, somehow let a suicidal man into a jail cell with two disposable lighters in his pocket which he used to set himself on fire, terrified another elderly woman by tailgating and brightlighting her for miles down a dirt road all the way to her house, allowed one dangerous criminal to escape and terrify the whole town because the jailer was too stupid to count to five when he let the prisoners back inside from the tiny exercise yard... and of course shot an innocent man twelve times for no logical reason whatsoever and then somehow got away with it. The list goes on. This department has made state-wide headlines for no less than five seperate incidents. At one point, there were more lawsuits against the county than there were employees who worked in the Sheriff's office. All this in a tiny rural county with a population of about 4000 people. But somehow, Zollman still garners a lot of support from the community because he is a "really nice guy".

JdL said...

This incident is a stark illustration of the vital importance of making a video recording of any encounter with cops. And if a cop tells you to stop recording or fork over your phone/camera, resist!

Elmo said...

Putting Anonymous 12:14's great post into perspective-

"Zollman still garners a lot of support from the community because he is a 'really nice guy'."
...who, according to Lt. Steven Phillips, doesn’t have a f***in’ clue how to do his job. He's in way over his head and doesn't have a clue what to do about having a sociopath as an employee.

Apparently, people a thousand miles from Council, Idaho (me) are paying more attention to what goes on in Adams County than do many residents.

Chris Mallory said...

I cannot get your July 24 article to load. Using Chrome, it hangs up with about half the article loaded and the rest of the page blank.

William N. Grigg said...

I'm sorry to learn this. Hopefully it's a temporary glitch; I'll see what can be done on my end. Thanks for letting me know.

Anonymous said...

Donna - ND

Attempting to appease a sociopath feeds the rage. I'm not sure they really want to be stopped, but somewhere in their twisted personalities they know damn well they are wrong and possess no shutoff switch. They have to be contained from the outside.

First of all, people having to deal with them must stop thinking, "I would never do that, so I must be imagining this. Maybe I'm doing something wrong to provoke these behaviors."

How many incidents does this county sheriff, or the State for that matter, need before this guy laughs his way through increasing violence on everyone in his path?

In elementary school my favorite uncle taught me, "The only way you can deal with a bully is with a bigger stick."

This deputy goes way, way beyond being a schoolyard 'bully'. He's a mad dog.

Anyone following his lead or looking the other way is 'nuts', too!

Anonymous said...

I know Lawrence real well,have watched him from the time he was assistant A.G. for All lance
and worked for Owyhee County D.A.

From somebody who has a Theology background that he has. It is very disturbing indeed!!
The powers of the dark side must be very intoxicating?

Owyhee Cowboy

Anonymous said...

I might humbly suggest that the good people of Adams Co. avoid as much contact with the Sheriff's dept as possible by not calling 911. In this day and age of speed dial and smart phones, there's no reason not to have the ambulance co., the fire department, and any other phone number you might need directly at the touch of a button. The people on the other end are going to get called anyway, and you can trust them to respond UNARMED and actually help you. Leave the sheriff's department to what they love to do best; collecting easy money by armed roadside extortion of passing motorists. Responding to anything else is just not in their skill set.

Anonymous said...

But I thought every donut molestor was a Sargent York type hero? (not really)
I laughed my ass off over that no freakin' clue comment. Bwahahah!
Maybe it was rifle envy? The big bad scary rancher rifle was just too much for someone with an overrated overhyped .22LR gun.
Drag those .223 guns through the snow, sand, mud, and let us know how that works out.
Don't clean the AR-15 for a few months after various shooting sessions and see how it operates.
The good old Russian 7.62x39mm AK and SKS rifle is still the best for harsh conditions and easy use for even the dumb Mongolian recruit.

Anonymous said...

Sheriff gets judge to sign off on a warrant and raids blogger:

Anonymous said...

Cops stop motorists to pass out ice cream cones:

Jack Crabb said...

You can't make this stuff up: “I don’t know how much you guys know into [Wood’s] background, but he – he is an advanced, skilled sniper,” Lt. Phillips told ISP investigators. “I mean, I sent him to the FBI academy … their advance sniper school and he came out on top.”

Yup, rumor is that Wood even won the Lon Horiuchi Most Likely To Succeed Award.

Anonymous said...

Donna - North Dakota

Succeed at what?

According to many of the older veterans, snipers were viewed as cowards.

Elmo said...

That wasn't a compliment, Donna. Look up Lon Horiuchi's Wikipedia page. He belonged to the same 'elite' FBI unit that set up the 'capture' of that Constitution-wielding desperado LaVoy Finicum.

Lon had a similar personality as Brian Wood. In other words, he too had no business being in law enforcement.

Anonymous said...

I didn't vote for him in the last election and will not again in this election! Zollman himself was in on the following the woman to her residence turning his red and blue lights off and on! Of course the judge dismissed the harassment charges that were filed. The person who is running against Zollman, his name is Tom Watts is from Nevada and wants to bring his buddies up if he wins. That is what Zollman did! Lord have mercy on Adams County residents. I am a law abiding citizen but I am scared!

Patrick Henry said...

Lon Horiuchi also murdered Vicky Weaver in cold blood in the Ruby Ridge incident and was also at WACO...That psychopath should have friend long ago...

Anonymous said...

Ouch, that one must sting.

Very poignant and I love what you did, but that one hurts and I am 2,000 miles away from Adams County.