Idaho Sees Multiple Killings in Three Days

Dec. 6, 2023
Idaho has been shaken by a string of violent deaths in recent days, with shootings claiming the lives of both men and women, including one who was pregnant.

MERIDIAN, Idaho -- Idaho has been shaken by a string of violent deaths in recent days, with shootings claiming the lives of both men and women, including one who was pregnant.

That woman’s 10-month-old son also died.

A Teton County man, Jeremy Albert Best, was charged Monday with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting of his pregnant wife, Kali Jean Randall, in Victor. Their 10-month-old, Zeke, was found dead Saturday after an Amber Alert had been issued. Idaho state law allows for a murder charge in the death of a fetus.

Two women in Meridian were found dead Sunday night after the Meridian Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance call. Police identified 31-year-old Clint Powers, of Meridian, as the suspect, and he shot himself in the head after leading Ada County sheriff’s deputies on a chase.

A shooting on Friday in Twin Falls left two men dead, according to the Times-News. The Twin Falls Police Department responded to shots fired at a business, and arrived to find the business owner and another man dead. Investigators said they are still working to locate two suspects.

First-degree murder case

Saturday’s arrest of Jeremy Best and the discovery of baby Zeke was the culmination of three frantic days in Teton and Bonneville counties.

Best first earned the attention of Bonneville County sheriff’s deputies on Thursday when he walked into the Swan Valley General Store naked, according to East Idaho News. Best sat on a couch near the store’s counter and grabbed a cigarette before he was escorted out of the store.

Best was evaluated by EMS personnel and taken to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center by ambulance for further medical and mental evaluations, according to a Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office news release. He was discharged from the hospital Thursday afternoon and returned to his home in Victor, in Teton County.

That night just before midnight, the Teton County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Best home, heard arguing on the line and sent deputies to the house. They arrived to find Randall dead, and no sign of Best or Zeke, prompting the issuance of an Amber Alert at 4 a.m. on Friday.

criminal complaint filed Monday by Teton County Prosecuting Attorney Bailey Smith states that Best shot Randall in the back “and/or right breast and/or right side ... causing her death.”

Hunters east of Idaho Falls found Best and Zeke on Saturday morning, and the black Chevy SUV that Best was driving was found nearby. It’s unclear whether Zeke was found in the car or outside, but hunters told deputies they found Best in a sleeping bag alongside the road “making odd statements,” Bonneville County officials said.

The cause of death for Zeke has not been determined, Bonneville County Coroner Rick Taylor told EastIdahoNews.com. A forensic autopsy is being performed in Ada County.

Best is being held in jail without bond and will undergo a mental evaluation.

Meridian double homicide

The Meridian Police Department dealt with a case of double homicide and suicide on Sunday night into the early hours of Monday morning.

Law enforcement from Meridian and the Ada County Sheriff’s Office responded after a call of a domestic disturbance came in just after 7 p.m. Sunday, stating that someone might have been shot at a home in the 2000 block of North Cougar Way.

Police arrived to find two women dead in separate locations inside the house: Emily Works, 33, of Meridian, and Sarah Walmsley, 41, of Boise. Both women had been shot in the head, according to the Ada County Coroner’s Office.

An 11-year-old child was present when the incident began, police said, but was found unharmed after fleeing to a nearby residence.

Meridian Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea said authorities identified 31-year-old Clint Powers as the suspect and began trying to locate him. Power was in a relationship with one of the women, police said.

Powers was located after police were notified of a carjacking about a half-mile away from where the women were killed, near West Ustick Road and North Venable Lane. Powers threatened the two people in the car at gunpoint, according to Basterrechea.

Ada County deputies pursued Powers in the stolen car, and he eventually fled by foot and fired shots at a deputy before being surrounded. He then fatally shot himself.

Twin Falls killings

The Twin Falls Police Department was still searching for two suspects in Friday’s shooting in that city, according to the department’s Facebook page.

Police responded to reports of shots fired at The Tint Shop in southeast Twin Falls, where they found the bodies of 26-year-old Jaime Bravo and 36-year-old Jesse Ortiz.

“While we cannot provide specific details about the ongoing investigation at this time, we want to assure the community that we are dedicating all available resources to bring those responsible for this heinous crime to justice,” Matthew Hicks, Twin Falls acting chief of police, said in a news release.

Police posted photos of the suspects on social media and advised community members not to approach the “armed and dangerous” perpetrators.

Early investigations indicate that one of the suspects might go by the nickname “El Guero,” police said, and that anyone with knowledge of the incident should contact the Twin Falls Police Department at (208) 735-4357 or Detective Morgan Waite at (208) 735-7227.

Reporter Sally Krutzig contributed to this report.

©2023 The Idaho Statesman. Visit idahostatesman.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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