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Local
Eagle Scout to raise flag outside Refugee Center, invites public to ceremony

TWIN FALLS — For Porter Buckley, the flag symbolizes freedom and sacrifice for all who call America home.

The 13-year-old will hold a community flag ceremony at 7 p.m. May 9 outside the College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center. Porter installed a flag pole in front of the center and his Boy Scout troop will raise the American flag for the first time. This event is open to the public.

“I would like all refugees to see the American flag and feel those same feelings of freedom and sacrifice in their new country,” Porter said.

Porter attends Kimberly Middle School is a member of the Rangers, Troop 43. The flag pole is a part of his Eagle Scout service project. Eagle Scout is the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.

Porter said his family donates to the Refugee Center and he knows a family who mentors families, but this is the first time he has donated to the program himself.

“I would like to see public support for the refugee center and refugees in our area,” he said.

Near the flag pole is a small monument with a quote from George Washington: “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” The project cost $500 and Porter gathered donations from individuals and companies.

On May 9, there will be a short ceremony with the singing of the national anthem.

“I’m trying to get the word out about the ceremony to the community and refugees who would like to attend,” he said.


State
AP
Former inmate reflects on life in and after prison

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — It’s been about a month since Chris Tapp was freed from prison.

“Twenty years ago my life ended, and I started another chapter in life,” he said in an interview at his home. “Now, that life ended. So now I’m trying to pick up a new life.”

He said he’s working to try to figure out who he is — to remember who he was before a judge sentenced him to life in prison.

Two decades ago, Tapp was convicted of the 1996 rape and murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge. He spent years filing appeals and petitions for post-conviction relief, arguing that he had falsely confessed to the crime under police coercion.

Then in March, he reached a deal with prosecutors to secure his freedom. Under the terms of the deal, a murder conviction remains on Tapp’s record, though he maintains his innocence. The rape conviction was vacated. He was released without parole or a suspended sentence.

Tapp said he took the deal because it offered a certain path out of prison, rather than taking his chances with a court system that had ruled against him time and again.

In his first few days outside, Tapp said he was mostly occupied with media interviews. At least four national documentary crews have been in Idaho Falls reporting on the case in recent months.

Since the pace has slowed down, Tapp has worked to find peace with all that he’s missed and to take steps toward building a new life.

Intermittently interrupted by text messages, Tapp said during the interview that one of the biggest changes is that daily life is now saturated with technology that he has no experience using.

“Twenty years ago, you talked with people,” he said. “It was personal. Now everything is done through texts and stuff. In prison, we don’t have that.”

He visited his father’s grave a few days after he was released. Tapp’s father died while he was in prison, and he wasn’t allowed to attend the funeral.

He also traveled to Tennessee to meet with the family of Lori Hollandsworth. Hollandsworth started out as an advocate for Tapp’s innocence, and they were eventually married in prison. She died in a car accident about a year before he was released. Tapp spent Easter with her family, including her children, who he had only talked to by phone.

“It was amazing,” he said. “It was really healing for them and for me. Their mother invested her time becoming one of my advocates and standing up for me and loving me. I went out there to show them that their mom didn’t waste her time.”

It’s hard for Tapp to explain what the last 20 years have been like. No one who has lived a free life can really understand the total isolation prison involves, he said.

“You’re just warehoused,” he said. “You’re put away. It’s one of the saddest things. . You feel like you’re alone in the world. People (who haven’t been to prison) will never understand it.”

As bad as it was, there are things Tapp says he sometimes misses. He has spent the last two decades within a structure that told him when to eat, when to exercise and basically everything else. It’s great to be able to decide at what restaurant you will eat, he said, but if you’re not used to making that decision, it feels strange.

“You get used to certain things, certain routines,” he said.

Tapp secured a job in construction, though he preferred to keep private which company hired him. Beyond a source of income, he said it will provide him a sense of direction.

“That will give me some structure, some direction about how to do things,” he said.

That feeling of missing structure is common among those who have spent long periods in prison, according to a report prepared by University of California, Santa Cruz psychologist Craig Haney.

“It is important to emphasize that these are the natural and normal adaptations made by prisoners in response to the unnatural and abnormal conditions of prisoner life,” Haney wrote.

Tapp had two messages for the public.

First, though it might be hard to believe, innocent people confess to crimes they didn’t commit under the pressure of interrogation. It’s easy to say you wouldn’t ever do it, Tapp said, but you don’t really know unless you’ve sat in an interrogation room, been told you’ll be sentenced to death and then offered immunity for cooperation.

Tapp has been talking with another inmate, a man who has served more than 20 years in Washington.

“I believe in his innocence,” Tapp said. “I feel for him.”

“There’s a bunch of people in prison who are wrongfully convicted,” he added.

Second, just because he has been released does not mean the murder is settled. Tapp said he still hopes one day the killer will be found. He said that’s the only way he will ever be completely exonerated.

Tapp doesn’t want anyone to forget that the man who killed Angie Dodge, who left multiple DNA samples at the scene, has never been identified. He doesn’t want anyone to forget the work that Angie’s mother, Carol Dodge, has done both to free him and to find her daughter’s killer.

“Just because I’m free and alive — that’s great,” he said. “But that’s a story (Angie Dodge’s murder) that’s being overshadowed by me coming home. That’s the story that needs to be out there. Don’t forget about Carol. Don’t forget about Angie.”


Crime-and-courts
5th District Court News

TWIN FALLS COUNTY

FELONY SENTENCINGS

Kevin Farrell Fuller, AKA Michael W. Phillips Jr., 42, Twin Falls; possession of a controlled substance, $285.50 costs, $2,000 fine, $100 DNA, $2,000 public defender, $4,033.74 restitution, 15 years penitentiary, three determinate, 12 indeterminate, 188 days credited, sentence to run concurrent to 2011 case.

Chancelor Clark Maughan, AKA Chancelor Butterfield, 19, Twin Falls; possession of a controlled substance marijuana in an amount greater that three ounces in any prepared form, $285.50 costs, $500 public defender, $100 DNA, $60 workmans comp. program fee, four years penitentiary, two determinate, two indeterminate, two days credited, sentence suspended, three years supervised probation.

Edgar Roberto Vega-Cervantes, 19, Twin Falls; possession of a controlled substance, $285.50 costs, $500 public defender, $100 DNA, $60 workmans comp. program fee, four years penitentiary, two determinate, two indeterminate, two days credited, sentence suspended, three years supervised probation.

Dennis Antonio Carhuas, 31, Buhl; possession of a controlled substance, $285.50 costs, seven years penitentiary, two determinate, five indeterminate, 125 days credited, sentence to run concurrent to Jerome 2008 case.

Caleb Tyler Lewis, 21, homeless; possession of a controlled substance, $285.50 costs, four years penitentiary, two determinate, two indeterminate, 99 days credited, 365 days retained jurisdiction.

Nathaniel Edward Cano, 19, Twin Falls; possession of a controlled substance, $285.50 costs, $500 public defender, five years penitentiary, two determinate, three indeterminate, 104 credited, 365 days retained jurisdiction, sentence to run consecutive to 2016 case.

Brandon Lee Little, 21, Twin Falls; possession of a controlled substance, $285.50 costs, $500 public defender, $100 DNA, seven years penitentiary, three determinate, four indeterminate, credit for time served, sentence suspended and run concurrent to 2015 case, three years supervised probation.

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE SENTENCINGS

Andres Hernandez Jr., 31, Twin Falls; DUI, $500 fine, $300 suspended, $202.50 costs, 90 days jail, 86 suspended, 10 days discretionary, two days credited, 16 hours work detail, 120 days restricted drivers license, 12 months probation with six to be supervised, attend victim impact panel and court alcohol school.

Jason Todd Eggers, 39, Twin Falls; DUI, $500 fine, $300 suspended, $202.50 costs, 90 days jail, 88 suspended, 10 days discretionary, one day credited, eight hours work detail, 120 days restricted drivers license, 12 months probation with six to be supervised, attend victim impact panel and court alcohol school.

Angelita Margarita Perea, 41, Twin Falls; DUI, $500 fine, $300 suspended, $202.50 costs, $75 public defender, 90 days jail, 88 suspended, 10 days discretionary, two days credited, 120 days restricted drivers license, 12 months probation with six to be supervised, attend victim impact panel and court alcohol school.

Eduardo I. Velasco-Reyna, 33, Twin Falls; DUI, $500 fine, $300 suspended, $202.50 costs, 90 days jail, 88 suspended, 10 days discretionary, one day credited, eight hours work detail, 12 months probation with six to be supervised, attend victim impact panel and court alcohol school.

Becky Juarez, 22, Boise; DUI, $500 fine, $300 suspended, $202.50 costs, 180 days jail, 178 suspended, 10 days discretionary, one day credited, eight hours work detail, 180 days restricted drivers license, 12 months probation with six to be supervised, attend victim impact panel and court alcohol school.

Israel Elizalder Perez, 24, Twin Falls; DUI, $500 fine, $300 suspended, $202.50 costs, 90 days jail, 88 suspended, 10 days discretionary, one day credited, guilty withheld judgment, eight hours work detail, 120 days restricted drivers license, 12 months probation with six to be supervised, attend victim impact panel and court alcohol school.

Jordan Steven Gentry, 24, Twin Falls; DUI excessive, $500 fine, $500 suspended, $202.50 costs, 180 days jail, 170 suspended, 10 days discretionary, one day credited, five days work detail, four days house arrest, 180 days jail, 170 suspended, 10 days discretionary, one day credited, 365 days drivers license suspension, 12 months probation with three to be supervised, attend victim impact panel and court alcohol school.

DIVORCE CIVIL PROCEEDINGS

Cynthia Calderon v. Hugo Lopez-Cuevas

Jack Barnhart v. Marlene Barnhart

Alan Price v. Lorena Price

Ginette Allen v. Robert Allen Sr.

Kristen Perret v. Taran Perret

Cristian Maciel v. Erika Naranjo-Reymondo

Amber Mondragon v. Micheal Mondragon

Gordon Halverson v. Judith Halverson


Local
Stork report: births at Jerome, Twin Falls hospitals

St. Luke’s Jerome

Daniel Dale Bennett, son of Ellen and James Bennett of Shoshone, was born April 21, 2017.

St. Luke’s Magic Valley

Everley Gwen Kliegl, daughter of Kerri Mae and Michael William Kliegl of Filer, was born April 19, 2017.

Letticia Greycella Flores, daughter of Elizabeth Alice and Abel Ray Flores of Twin Falls, was born April 19, 2017.

Leonardo Enebel Macias-Ruelas, son of Brenda Berenice Macias and Jesus Enebel Macias Grimaldo of Jerome, was born April 20, 2017.

Edlyn Sariah Renteria, daughter of Sarah Marie Holcomb and Marcelo Ignacio Renteria of Twin Falls, was born April 20, 2017.

Rake Stern Jaynes, son of Elaine Marie and William Stern Jaynes of Twin Falls, was born April 21, 2017.

Darwin Dee Ramsey, son of Mikeala Sue Pratt and Dillon Dee Ramsey of Buhl, was born April 22, 2017.

Kynzlee Rylen Esta, daughter of Krishton Elizabeth Gonzales and Ronald Joseph Esta II of Filer, was born April 22, 2017.

Brynn Marie Benkula-Weeks, daughter of Ashley Marie Benkula and Robert Grant Weeks of Twin Falls, was born April 24, 2017.

Jaylinee Lopez-Macias, daughter of Clara Ydsel Macias Eudabe and Hector Lopez-Pina of Wendell, was born April 24, 2017.

Lennon Marie Harper, daughter of Alisha Allison and Matthew James Harper of Burley, was born April 25, 2017.

Lydia Wren Orr, daughter of Haley Lynn Orr and James Franklin Orr III of Twin Falls, was born April 25, 2017.

Havyn Emberly Humble Kelly, daughter of Heather Ann Hunt and John Lennon Kelly of Twin Falls, was born April 25, 2017.

Skyler Ann Smith, daughter of Nichole McKenzey Smith and Jordan Lancaster Smith of Twin Falls, was born April 26, 2017.


Streamflows

Average daily flows

Snake River at Heise 10,946 cfs

Snake River at Blackfoot 8,693 cfs

Snake River at American Falls 6,521 cfs

Snake River at Minidoka 6,125 cfs

Snake River at Milner 270 cfs

Little Wood River near Carey 776 cfs

Jackson Lake is 69 percent full.

Palisades Reservoir is 31 percent full.

American Falls Reservoir is 98 percent full.

Upper Snake River system is at 72 percent capacity.

As of May 22.


Print-specific
At a Glance

SW Idaho man’s request to withdraw guilty plea rejected

CALDWELL (AP) — An Idaho man who pleaded guilty to a shooting that seriously wounded a 10-year-old girl will not be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea.

KTVB-TV reports a judge earlier this week rejected the request by 20-year-old Mario Garza.

Garza and Ezri Garcia were charged after a June 2016 shootout at a Nampa Walmart where families had gathered to watch a fireworks show.

The girl was struck in the shoulder, and surgeons were unable to remove the bullet due to possible nerve damage.

Garza pleaded guilty in November to aggravated assault with a weapons enhancement and felony riot with a gang enhancement. He asked to withdraw his plea in February.

He faces up to 18 years in prison at his sentencing next month.

Garcia pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Man in custody following fatal shooting in SW Idaho home

NAMPA (AP) — One man is dead and another is in custody following a shooting in a southwest Idaho home.

Police in Nampa arrested 38-year-old Phillip Cabrera on Friday after being called to the home by a woman who reported her estranged husband was trying to break in.

Police say Cabrera made it into the home before officers arrived.

Police say officers heard shots fired in the home when they got to the scene and that Cabrera fired at officers.

Police say officers didn’t fire their weapons. Cabrera was taken into custody shortly after.

Police found another man dead with gunshot wounds to the head and torso. His name hasn’t been released.

A woman and two children were found safe in the home.

Cabrera is being held on suspicion of murder and attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

Wilder superintendent to run for Idaho schools chief

BOISE (AP) — Wilder School Superintendent Jeff Dillon has filed to run for state superintendent of public instruction in 2018.

Dillon, a Republican, is the first candidate to file for the position after current Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra announced she would also be seeking re-election.

Dillon has worked as Wilder’s superintendent since 2012. Previously, he was an elementary school principal, and a middle school science and reading teacher.

In 2014, the schools chief race attracted a wide range of candidates with mostly educator backgrounds and almost no political experience. Ybarra narrowly won the election despite facing a rocky campaign and raising little funds.


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