Man seems in court docket after indictment on cost of manslaughter

SALMON – A Lemhi County man appeared in court docket on Friday after being indicted on a cost of voluntary manslaughter.

Tel Pethtel, 27, appeared in court docket in entrance of Justice of the Peace Decide Andrew Woolf following an indictment filed on Dec. 9.

In court docket, Pethtel suggested that he could be hiring his personal legal professional, moderately than having the court docket assign him a public defender. His legal professional will probably be RJ Hoopes, an legal professional out of Rexburg.

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On Oct. 18, 2021, the Lemhi County Sheriff’s workplace obtained a name round 7 a.m. a couple of pickup truck crash within the Panther Creek Highway space. When deputies arrived, they found the physique of 32-year-old Jon Ryan Kesterson down an embankment and into the bushes.

Investigators say 26-year-old Tel William Pethtel, Kesterson and an unnamed girl had been collectively when Kesterson died. They later found that Pethtel was driving the pickup truck.

As ordered by District Decide Stevan H. Thompson, the names of the girl and Kesterson had been redacted from court docket paperwork.

Deputies ultimately caught up with Pethtel and the girl about 10 hours after Kesterson died, asking to get their model of occasions.

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Based on them, Pethel and somebody within the pickup acquired right into a disagreement. They acquired out of the pickup and began preventing, in keeping with court docket paperwork.

“Sooner or later throughout that altercation, Pethtel claimed a .22 magnum handgun went off and (Kesterson) was struck with a bullet and died,” police experiences state. “Pethtel additionally fired a .22 magnum rifle 3 times throughout this transient time interval.”

Man seems in court docket after indictment on cost of manslaughter
Jon Kesterson | Fb picture

On the scene of the taking pictures, investigators recovered not less than one casing from the rifle. When investigators appeared on the handgun, they reported discovering three spent casings inside. Deputies additionally discovered .22 ammunition on the scene.

With the truck not working following the crash, Pethtel eliminated an ATV from the pickup truck for him and the girl to depart the scene, in keeping with court docket paperwork.

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The 2 went to a hunters camp within the space to get a journey to a member of the family’s dwelling the place they stayed afterwards. Deputies report Pethtel and the girl by no means contacted authorities about Kesterson’s dying.

In a while, the 2 went to Challis, the place Pethtel reportedly burned a pair of pants with blood on them, in keeping with court docket paperwork. The 2 then took showers, destroying the blood and DNA proof on their our bodies.

Pethtel additionally took the boots he wore throughout the taking pictures and hid them in a constructing below a tarp, in keeping with investigators in court docket paperwork.

When deputies contacted Pethtel and the girl round 6 p.m., he pointed them towards a .22 caliber rifle hanging on a gun rack on the dwelling. Investigators additionally recovered the handgun allegedly used within the taking pictures.

Pethtel isn’t legally speculated to have weapons as a result of he’s a convicted felon in Oregon and Idaho.

Based on court docket paperwork, he and the girl stated they saved the weapons belonging to a member of the family to guard themselves from wolves and for on a regular basis carry as a result of they had been in a wilderness space.

“Every felt their security from wolves outweighed the felony conviction restrictions of Pethtel in regard to firearm possession,” the possible trigger assertion reads.

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Deputies say Pethtel then tried to manufacture a narrative about what occurred.

He reportedly despatched Fb messages to others, saying (identify redacted) grew to become intoxicated and upset. The messages then stated (identify redacted) drove away from the home within the truck with the ATV and a .22 handgun.

“That was the final time both Pethtel or (identify redacted) had seen (identify redacted) and so they had no info as to his whereabouts when contacted by legislation enforcement on this date,” the affidavit reads. “The Fb texts had been an try to cowl up Pethtels and (identify redacted) involvements on this automobile accident and obvious illegal dying scene.”

Pethtel was taken into custody and booked into the Ada County Jail earlier than being transferred to the Lemhi County Jail. After the indictment was filed, Pethtel’s bond was set to $500,000.

Woolf famous in court docket on Friday that there will probably be no preliminary listening to, and Pethtel will be capable to argue for a bond discount at his subsequent court docket look on Jan. 18.

If convicted, Pethtel faces as much as 15 years in jail.

Though Pethtel is accused of those crimes, it doesn’t essentially imply he dedicated them. Everyone seems to be presumed harmless till confirmed responsible.

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