Bingham County Sheriff Indicted on Felony Charges
(ID) – In November, a chaperone and seven youths from a church group were delivering thank you turkey cards. The children would go to a house, stick the picture to the door, ring the door bell, then run away. It was being done as an anonymous thank you and had been done in the past.
Two children were going to put one on Sheriff Craig Rowland’s door, but he was outside. The chaperone drove them back later and they put up their thank you note. Sheriff Rowland heard them and ran after the car with his gun.
When Rowland approached the car, Cox opened the door and she told him that they were “just here to drop off something for Lisa,” the sheriff’s wife, the affidavit says. Cox told investigators that Rowland then pointed his gun at her and two young girls in the passenger seat and told her to “get the f–k out of the car.”
As Cox went to shift her car into park, Rowland moved closer to her and then grabbed and yanked her hair while ordering her to get out of the car again, according to the affidavit. He then allegedly pointed the gun at Cox and asked her what she was doing. When she tried to answer him, the affidavit said that Rowland, “yelled that he could or would shoot Cox.”
You might want to give the sheriff the benefit of the doubt thinking he did not know what was going on. But according to the the Idaho State Journal,
A video recording from Rowland’s doorbell recorded the girls dropping off the card. In the video, Rowland exits after the girls knock on the door and finds the Thanksgiving card. He is heard yelling “Thank you” to the girls. He then reportedly said to himself “That’s frickin’ (expletive), then says “Get my gun.”
Rowland was telling his wife to get his gun, which she did. And then there’s the comment from the victim’s husband.
Idaho Attorney General’s Office Conducts Criminal Investigation
The Idaho Attorney General’s Office is acting as a special prosecutor and is the agency who conducted the criminal investigation. That investigation brought to light Sheriff Rowland’s racism.
“I have been doing this job for 36 years, I’ve had drunk Indians drive down my cul-de-sac, I’ve had drunk Indians come to my door,” Rowland said, according to the affidavit. “I live just off of the reservation, we have a lot of reservation people around us that are not good people.”
The local Native Americans and the non-Native community are asking for Sheriff Rowland to resign. So far, he has refused to do so.
Felony Charges Filed Against Sheriff
The probable cause affidavit charges Sheriff Craig Rowland with Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Assault, and Unlawful Exhibition or Use of a Deadly Weapon. But in a move that surprises no one, the sheriff was not arrested.
Rowland has not been arrested. Instead, the court issued a summons for him to appear in Bingham County Court at 9 a.m. on Dec. 22 for his initial appearance.
The county commissioners don’t have authority over the sheriff. This allowed the sheriff to place himself on paid leave. I guess he felt that was admitting to guilt or something. Once the Attorney General started investigating his actions, Rowland changed his mind and went back to work.