BLAST FROM THE PAST: Police wait for autopsy, lab tests in shooting death

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EDITOR’S NOTE: BLAST FROM THE PAST is a weekly article where we turn back the clock and see what was on the front page of our local newspapers years ago.

This unchanged article and photo/cutline ran on the front page of the Jan. 5, 1987, edition of the Shoshone News-Press. If you remember this story, or other BLAST FROM THE PAST articles, let us know by writing us or commenting online.

By MONTE KIELING,

The News-Press

Kellogg police officers are waiting for results of the autopsy and laboratory tests on the body of Joe Bussell, 35, today. Bussell was shot to death at his home at 418 West mission Avenue in Kellogg at approximately 6 a.m. Saturday. The investigation of the shooting is being continued by the Kellogg Police Department.

Depending upon the results of the laboratory tests and autopsy, the police will make a decision on whether or not charges will be filed in the case, Kellogg Police Chief Billy Beard said this morning.

Bussell, a former Shoshone County Sheriff’s deputy, had been shot in the head, Beard said. A pistol was found at the site of the shooting and has been sent to the crime laboratory in Coeur d’Alene for analysis.

The autopsy of Bussell’s body was scheduled at the Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene by a Spokane pathologist, the chief said.

Beard said that he did not know how long it would be until the test results were available. Due to the closeness of Kellogg to Coeur d’Alene, Beard said that Kellogg officers would pick up the test results in person, rather than having them mailed, when they are available.

Kellogg police were called to the home at 6:04 a.m. Saturday by Bussell’s roommate Dave Yon, who reported that Bussell had been shot. Yon is not being held in the case.

Yon and Bussell were apparently the only two people present at the home when the shooting occurred, Beard said.

At this point, it has not been determined whether the shooting was accidental, a homicide or suicide, he said.

Yon has reportedly refused to talk to police without an attorney being present .

Yon, a former Pinehurst Police Chief, had been involved in a shooting while working as the Pinehurst Police Chief in January 1981. A coroner’s inquest ruled that Yon was justified in the shooting of Danny Powers, 31, in the Pine Creek area.

The last shooting in Kellogg to be investigated as a homicide occurred on Aug. 7, 1980, in which Don Folkman, the owner of Panhandle Cleaners in Kellogg and Wallace was shot to death at an apartment above the cleaners in Kellogg.

No chargers were ever filed in the case.

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