Trial begins for local man accused in shooting death behind Planet Fitness

Trial begins for local man accused in shooting death behind Planet Fitness

IDAHO FALLS – The trial for an Idaho Falls man accused of second-degree homicide started Tuesday.

Jake Eilander, 37, appeared clean-shaven, versus his thick-bearded mugshot, throughout his first day of trial. He was indicted on fees of second-degree homicide on June 17, after the alleged capturing dying of 44-year-old Ulysses Rangel behind Planet Fitness in Idaho Falls on March 30.

Eilander pleaded not responsible on June 23 and is at present standing trial in entrance of District Judge Stevan Thompson.

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In opening arguments, Eilander’s lawyer Alexander Sosa argued Eilander acted in self-defense, detailing a story of Eilander and his important different, who was not named, strolling down the road with their canine earlier than an “particular person”, approached them and started attacking their canine and “throwing profanities” at them.

“(Eilander and his important different) discover a person. He’s sporting a darkish hoodie, he’s acquired an object in a single hand, the opposite one is in his pocket. Jake is watching this,” Sosa mentioned. “He’s watching this individual nearly bearing down on his pet. To his reduction, the pet jumps away. Then this particular person turns and begins approaching. Anybody would have needed their important different to guard them.”

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Deputy prosecuting lawyer, Penelope North Shaul, argued that Eilander shot the person in chilly blood, saying the case just isn’t about what occurred however moderately why it occurred.

“Apply the legal guidelines of this courtroom, and while you try this, you’ll come again with the choice that Mr. Eilander is responsible of second-degree homicide.”

The protection referred to as many witnesses on day one, together with Jessica Hunting, the lady who discovered Rangel’s physique.

Hunting recounted the emotional story of her discovering Rangel’s physique behind Planet Fitness together with her youngsters within the automobile, inflicting her to tear up on the stand.

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“I yelled for him “Sir? Are you okay?” And I used to be watching his chest, and it wasn’t shifting,” Hunting mentioned. “After I noticed the entire blood, I didn’t assume it was a secure state of affairs for my youngsters, and it wasn’t a secure state of affairs for me to get out of the automobile.”

Hunting says as quickly as she realized the person’s chest was not shifting, she referred to as 911.

The jury listened to the 911 name, the place Hunting informed the dispatcher there have been individuals in line for the close by soda store, however no one had observed the physique but.

“I pulled proper up subsequent to him and yelled at him out my window proper earlier than I referred to as 911, and he didn’t transfer,” Hunting is heard saying within the 911 name.

Multiple detectives and officers with the Idaho Falls Police Department additionally testified Tuesday, telling the jury about their roles within the investigation and the crime scene.

Officer Ryan Picard, the primary officer on the scene, says he was the primary to visually study the physique.

“I discovered it suspicious that there gave the impression to be a bullet gap in his chest, so I locked down the crime scene, put up a fringe, and referred to as detectives to come back right down to the scene,” Picard mentioned.

Detective Christopher Reed testified when he arrived on the scene, he adopted a path of blood from the physique to the entrance of a close-by truck and flatbed trailer, which was later found to be registered to Eilander.

He additionally testified a “peculiar merchandise,” a small photo voltaic panel, was discovered subsequent to the physique.

“There was a path of blood and blood splatter and a spent bullet casing,” Reed mentioned. “In the shirt pocket (of the physique), there was a replica of a U.S. identification card, belonging to a Ulysses Rangel.”

Detective Austin Belnap informed the jury he obtained safety footage from two close by companies. The footage proven depicted Rangel struggling to stroll by the again of the car parking zone behind Planet Fitness, then collapsing in entrance of two parked automobiles.

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Further footage confirmed a really zoomed-in clip of three individuals frantically interacting close to Eilander’s truck earlier than a person in a black hoodie stretches his arms sideways, runs towards one other individual, after which all three individuals stroll out of body.

The jury was additionally proven police bodycam footage from the evening Eilander was arrested, displaying a big police presence exterior a storage earlier than the door was opened and a lady got here exterior, figuring out herself as Brandy Carlson.

Officers informed Carlson to get on the bottom earlier than they moved to detain Eilander contained in the storage. They discovered a 45-caliber Glock, the identical kind of gun reportedly used within the capturing.

Courtnee Van Brunt, a neighbor of Brandy Carlson, was additionally a witness Tuesday. Van Brunt informed the courtroom that Eilander ceaselessly visited her neighbor’s residence, and on the day of the capturing, she was in a position to document each Eilander and Carlson leaving and returning to the residence on her Ring doorbell.

Van Brunt additionally informed the jury she noticed slightly lady fall off her bike in entrance of her residence, so she went exterior to verify on her.

While exterior, Van Brunt says she heard a gunshot. Minutes later, Carlson got here from the Planet Fitness again car parking zone, and Van Brunt says Eilander went in the other way.

The final witness was Chad Claxton, an incarcerated witness and good friend of Eilander’s for the previous six years. Claxton appeared excited to see Eilander in courtroom, saying he “couldn’t miss that ugly mug anyplace.”

The jury heard a 911 name from Claxton saying he “thinks he knew who did the capturing behind the previous Smiths at this time.”

Claxton then says he desires this to be an nameless name, and his good friend informed him Eilander shot somebody and was in her storage.

Claxton informed the courtroom he referred to as 911 on Eilander as a result of he knew a person was lifeless, and the household had a proper to know what occurred. Also, he did it as a result of Claxton was on parole and didn’t need to danger not saying something and being re-incarcerated.

The trial will proceed on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. on the Bonneville County Courthouse. could have a reporter within the courtroom, and we are going to replace the general public because the trial progresses.

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