During the two-day trial, the jury heard evidence that on May 18, 2009, Rodriguez assaulted Jeffory Talbott by striking, beating and wounding Talbott. Talbott is an Idaho State Trooper. The charge arose from a traffic stop that Talbott initiated on a county highway within the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. Rodriguez was a passenger in the pickup truck that Talbott stopped. The assault occurred shortly after the traffic stop. During the incident, Talbott fired his service weapon. Vern Ellenwood was killed and Rodriguez was wounded.
“The FBI conducted a detailed and thorough investigation of these tragic events,” said United States Attorney Wendy Olson. “This office and the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, conducted a complete review of the investigative materials and did a comprehensive analysis of the evidence before deciding what charges, if any, to pursue.”
The charge carries a maximum prison term of six months, supervised release of one year, probation up to five years, and a fine of up to $5,000.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 3, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mikel H. Williams in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
The case was investigated by the Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office, Nez Perce Tribal Police Department, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The United States Attorney’s Office has jurisdiction over cases involving a non-Indian victim and an Indian defendant that occur within the boundaries of the Nez Perce Indian Reservation.