Autopsy clears Rickets of manslaughter

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WALLACE — After receiving autopsy results, the Shoshone County prosecuting attorney’s office (SCPAO) will not be upgrading Ryan Rickets’ charges from battery to manslaughter.

The entirety of the results are still not being released, but a representative from the office did confirm that the charges were not going to be upgraded.

The prosecuting attorney’s office had been working with the Kellogg Police Department on an investigation of Rickets following the death of local resident, Gerad Crawford.

Crawford, 49, of Smelterville, passed away on July 26 after succumbing to existing medical issues.

What was in question before the autopsy was whether or not those issues had been accelerated by Crawford’s involvement in a fight that happened on July 9 in Kellogg between Crawford, Rickets, and Heather Therrian. Initially, Rickets was charged with battery, but was upgraded to aggravated battery after it was discovered that Crawford had some of his teeth knocked out during the fight.

Following Crawford’s passing, the case took a turn for the severe for Rickets, as it was being speculated upon whether the injuries Crawford had suffered during the fight had led to his death.

From the outset, Kellogg Police Chief Dave Wuolle did not believe that Crawford’s death was result of the fight after reading through the case file and reviewing the medical records.

Wuolle wrote a supplemental report that was attached to the initial report of the incident on July 9 and in that report he documented several discussions he had with members of Crawford’s family, including one with Crawford’s mother, Marguerite, and father, John, following Crawford’s hospitalization and medically induced coma.

“Marguerite updated me on Gerad’s condition and stated that he has cirrhosis of the liver and feels his being beat up (accelerated) his condition,” Wuolle wrote. “I also contacted his father and updated him on the investigation. I asked John (G. Crawford’s father) if Gerad had a regular doctor he was seeing for his cirrhosis. John stated that he does not but stated he had been in Kootenai Health before for it.”

The SCPAO are still pursuing charges of aggravated battery against Rickets for the fight on July 9.

The Shoshone News-Press reached out to the prosecutor’s office for comment on the matter, but none was given.

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