Suspect charged with manslaughter after police say he used man as shield during gunfire

Suspect charged with manslaughter after police say he used man as shield during gunfire

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MURPHY — A 50-year-old man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after court documents allege that he used an Owyhee County man as a human shield on Nov. 15, putting the victim he was attacking in the line of fire.

Mark Warner was booked into the Owyhee County jail on Saturday after he was briefly hospitalized due to his own gunshot wounds.

The altercation that led to 74-year-old Rod St. Clair’s death began around 9:35 p.m. on Nov. 15, when St. Clair called police to his home on Island View Drive, south of Marsing, according to a copy of the probable cause affidavit in Warner’s case.

St. Clair reported that a man was outside banging on the doors and windows, so St. Clair retrieved a gun, according to the document. He said he went outside when he heard the windows break on a vehicle parked outside the home. The intruder also broke a window to St. Clair’s master bedroom, according to the affidavit. Law enforcement conducted a search of the area but didn’t find the person of interest.

Law enforcement later left the St. Clair home, according to the affidavit, because they heard dogs barking at a home to the south and thought that might be in response to the at-large suspect, and they told St. Clair they would return to finish the report.

A deputy wrote in the affidavit that while they were checking the other home, they heard several gunshots from the St. Clair home and notified dispatch. When they returned, one of St. Clair’s family members was holding a gun in the driveway and he was on the ground.

The woman with the gun said she saw the intruder attacking St. Clair aggressively with a “shiny object,” according to the affidavit. The woman said she shot at the intruder but it “wasn’t stopping him.” She said at one point the intruder turned St. Clair toward her to use him as a shield, and she believes she accidentally shot St. Clair at one point, according to the affidavit.

Warner was located by deputies south of the St. Clair house with gunshot wounds to his abdomen, according to the affidavit, and he was on top of a vest that indicated he was a member of the Owyhee County chapter of the Vagos motorcycle gang.

Warner was identified by the witnesses at the house as the man who attacked Rod St. Clair, according to the affidavit. Deputies later found a weapon referred to as a “morning star” near St. Clair’s body. It was described as about a “2-foot-long green braided rope with a large solid chrome looking metal spike ball that weighs approximately 2 pounds at the end of it,” according to the affidavit.

Deputies believe the weapon was used to attack St. Clair and to smash the windows.

The motive remained unclear on Monday and the sheriff’s office was not releasing further information.

The Owyhee County Sheriff’s Office said Warner was booked on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and felony malicious injury to property.

A copy of the criminal complaint states that the aggravated assault charge stems from the “well-founded fear” instilled in the person who fired the gun.

Last week, Joshua McDaniel, 37, of Caldwell, was charged in connection to the fight that ended in the victim’s death. He is charged on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, as well as misdemeanor obstructing and delaying police.

Deputies say that McDaniel ran from them when they were investigating the shooting and that he attempted to hide a gun.


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