|Necci (click for larger version)|
August 13, 2013 | 09:13 AMELKHORN — Four Walworth County Sheriff’s Deputies who shot and killed a man armed with a sheriff’s shotgun acted within the scope of the law, according to Walworth County District Attorney Daniel Necci.
On June 13, Jeremiah Krubert, 39, arrived at his mother’s home where he brutally attacked his mother’s boyfriend and allegedly set the kitchen on fire.
When Walworth County Sheriff’s Deputy Todd Neumann arrived at the home, Krubert came at Neumann with a knife and Neumann fired multiple times at Krubert.
Neumann backed away from Krubert and demanded he “get down.” Neumann’s firearm had a mechanical failure. Krubert kept approaching Neumann and said, “Kill me, kill me.”
As Neumann backed away, he tripped over an electrical box. When Neumann was on the ground, Krubert ran past Neumann and got into Neumann’s squad car and drove away.
After crashing the squad in a field, Krubert exited the squad car and confronted deputies Wayne Blanchard, Garth Frami and Jeffrey Shaw with the shotgun that was in the squad car. Blanchard demanded that Krubert put down the weapon.
While confronting Krubert, the deputies saw the pressure-switch light, which is installed on all Walworth County Sheriff’s Office shotguns, go on. Krubert also attempted to chamber a round into the shotgun. The deputies then shot and killed Krubert.
“Anytime deadly force is required from our law enforcement personnel and anytime a loss of life is the result, a tragedy has occurred in our county,” Necci wrote in his report. “Furthermore, anytime mental illness is a component of such events, I would suggest that the magnitude of the resulting tragedy is greatly amplified. Many lives were changed dramatically on June 13, 2013, and I know that you and the people of Walworth County will join me in praying for healing for all involved or affected, as well as, wisdom for the future.”
When there is an officer-involved shooting fatality, Necci can order an inquest to determine how the individual died. During an inquest, a jury can decide whether charges should be brought against the law enforcement officers involved in the death.
“Deputy Neumann’s, Deputy Shaw’s, Deputy Frami’s and Deputy Blanchard’s actions were privileged as acts of defense of themselves or others,” Necci wrote in his opinion.
About the shooting
At about 2 a.m. Krubert’s mother, Kathleen, saw her son standing outside on her porch, and she heard screaming. Kathleen asked Michael Boyd to arm himself with a firearm because she feared for her safety because of her son’s past issues with mental illness.
Kathleen Krubert attempted to call 911, but she didn’t have cell phone service. Jeremiah Krubert broke into the residence and attacked Boyd with a pipe, causing him serious injuries. Kathleen Krupert escaped the home and called 911.
Neumann was the first on the scene, and after his confrontation with Jeremiah Krubert, in which Jeremiah Krubert stole his squad car, he put out the fire in the kitchen, which was presumably started by Jeremiah Krubert.
Shaw, Frami and Blanchard were involved in the chase with Jeremiah Krubert, which ended when Jeremiah Krubert crashed into farm equipment in a field.
An autopsy showed Jeremiah Krubert had “multiple lacerations to his scalp, thought to be caused by the end of a metal pipe or a similar object, a graze wound to the shoulder possibly caused by a bullet and severe internal injuries to the heart, lungs, liver, spine and esophagus, apparently caused by the single .223 caliber round found near his spine,” according to Necci’s letter.
The autopsy revealed that cocaine was present in Jeremiah Krubert’s system.
The last officer-involved shooting occurred on Jan. 21, when Deputy Robert Lagle was guarding 18-year-old Alfredo Villarreal as he was receiving treatment at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center, Elkhorn. When Lagle unshackled Villarreal to use the rest room, Villarreal attacked the deputy. Fearing Villarreal would continue to attack him, disarm him and exit the hospital, Lagle shot and killed Villarreal.
Necci determined Lagle acted in self-defense.
Blanchard has been involved in two previous officer-involved shootings. On May 5, 2012, in a trailer in a home in the town of Lyons, Blanchard shot and killed John Brown, 22. Brown allegedly charged at Blanchard while armed with a knife. Then-District Attorney Philip Koss ruled the shooting legal. Brown’s mother, Nancy, has publicly called the shooting “murder.” She has filed a federal lawsuit against the county and Blanchard for her son’s death.
On Jan. 29, 2010, Blanchard shot Mark Beaver of La Grange. Beaver fired multiple shots toward another deputy. Beaver survived the shooting and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Blanchard is a more than 10 year-veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, and in 2012 he earned a Distinguished Service Award for his involvement with the firearms training team.