BINGHAM COUNTY, Idaho (ABC4) – A former Idaho Sheriff who recently pled guilty to aggravated assault after threatening a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Young Women’s group has written a letter of apology and responsibility regarding the incident, according to East Idaho News.
The letter, which was filed in court Monday morning, reads, “I accept full responsibility for the events of November 9, 2021. I made a series of decisions that will likely define my law enforcement legacy and will undoubtedly leave an impression on (the victims).”
In the letter, former Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland recounts the series of events that led him to be charged with multiple felonies.
“I took my dogs outside and observed people running across the lawn that I didn’t recognize,” Rowland says of the evening of November 9.
“It was dark and I couldn’t make any identification. I took the dogs back in my home. I heard a banging on the front door coupled with the screen door slamming. I opened the door. Affixed to the door was a cut-out turkey,” Rowland states.
Rowland says that at the time, the significance of the turkey “simply did not register” in his mind.
The former Sheriff says he retrieved his handgun and went outside, before noticing a white vehicle down the cul-de-sac. He flagged the vehicle down while armed with a gun.
Upon confronting the occupants of the vehicle, he says, “I observed a woman that I perceived was reaching into the center console. I grabbed her by the hair and pointed my weapon at her. I pulled her out of the vehicle at gunpoint.”
Rowland states that the woman “almost immediately identified herself” as the daughter of a long-time neighbor and friend of his.
“I have known her nearly her entire life,” Rowland says.
In a guilty plea, Rowland acknowledged the following:
- “1. My actions were a threat to do violence to (victims).”
- “2. I had the apparent ability to follow through with that threat.”
- “3. It created a well-founded fear in (victims) that violence was imminent.”
Rowland finishes the letter with an apology and admittance of guilt.
The former sheriff agreed to probation and ten days of jail to be served during the course of that probation, according to Defense Attorney Dennis Wilkinson.
He is scheduled to be sentenced by District Judge Stephen Dunn on Oct. 25.