Family Statement: Charges Dropped Against Bonners Ferry Man Who Killed Grizzly

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The Hill Family Released This Statement today regarding federal charges being dropped against Jeremy Hill, who shot and killed a grizzly bear on his Bonners Ferry property in May.

Statement of Jeremy Hill Regarding Resolution of Grizzly Confrontation on May 8, 2011

"I am thankful that the government has dismissed all criminal charges against me in this case. I received a federal civil ticket and have paid the $1,000 fine to avoid putting my family through the emotional strain and the cost of a trial. I am glad this issue has been resolved out of court and I am looking forward to putting this unfortunate incident behind me."
"My family and I are very thankful for the support of our family and friends during this difficult time. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of concern from the many people who have contacted us. We are also grateful for the support of our state and local elected officials. We could not ask for better friends, neighbors and supporters. Thank you again from all of our family."

Marc Lyons of Ramsden & Lyons, LLP, attorney for Jeremy Hill in this matter, had the following statement:

"We are pleased that the U.S. Attorney has agreed to dismiss all criminal charges against Jeremy Hill for the shooting of a grizzly bear at his home on May 8, 2011. We believe that this was the correct decision and that Jeremy should not be subjected to criminal charges. Jeremy believed that the actions that he took in confronting three large grizzly bears at his home were appropriate and necessary to protect his home and family."
"It is important to understand that the Hill family lives in a rural farm community. The Hill family home is 1,000 feet from one of the main Idaho highways, and is not in the mountains, the wilderness, or where someone would normally expect grizzly bear activity."
"This unfortunate event underscores the need to critically review and evaluate the Endangered Species Act so that people can use reasonable and appropriate actions to protect their families, homes and property."

Jeremy Hill's Statement on the Incident

"After having family over for dinner on Mother's Day, I was outside at the basketball hoop with four of my children. I went into the house to take a shower. When I finished showering and was getting dressed, my wife, Rachel, looked out the bedroom window and saw three grizzly bears at the edge of our yard, but very close by, standing near a small pen that held the children's 4-H pigs. The last time I saw my children they were outside. I grabbed a rifle and ran out on the deck. I yelled for the children, but did not hear a response. The bears did not move away from the pen as I was yelling. Fearing for the safety of my children, I shot the bear that was closest to the house. The other two bears ran across part of the lawn and into the brush. The wounded bear followed into the yard, but stopped and turned toward the house. I shot the bear again. About this time, Rachel told me that the children were safe inside the house. The bear I shot was badly wounded, and I believed at that time that it would be very dangerous to leave the bear wounded, possibly posing a threat to others. I also thought the humane thing to do was to put the wounded bear out of its misery."
"We do not live in the wilderness. We live in a rural farm community. I have never seen grizzly bears near our home before."
"I shot the grizzly bear because I was fearful for the safety of my family. I thought I was doing the right thing to protect them. Once I shot the bear, I immediately called Idaho Fish and Game to report the incident."


COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The U.S. District Attorney has confirmed with KHQ that charges against Bonners Ferry resident Jeremy Hill, who killed a grizzly bear on his property in May, have been dropped.

We are working on gathering more information and will bring you more as soon as it becomes available.


COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Jeremy M. Hill, 33, of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, has been charged by the United States Attorney's Office for killing a grizzly bear, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.

The information filed today in United States District Court alleges that on May 8, 2011, Hill shot and killed a grizzly bear that was on his property in Bonners Ferry.

The grizzly bear is classified as a threatened species in the Lower 48 states, according to the Endangered Species Act of 1975, and protected by federal law.

The charge of killing a threatened species is punishable by up to one year in prison, a maximum fine of $50,000, and up to one year of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. An information is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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