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County attorney gets KBI officer shooting report

Decision whether to charge or not is weeks or months away

Staff writer

With a state investigation complete, it will now be up to County Attorney Courtney to decide if an officer-involved shooting in Lehigh nearly five months ago was justified or if charges should be filed.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has completed its investigation into a June 20 officer-involved shooting in which Robb Stewart of Lehigh was killed.

KBI investigators were to meet with Boehm this week to hand over the investigation file, but Boehm’s decision is likely weeks or months away.

“I want to give it thorough attention,” Boehm said. “I want to read. There’s a ton of video I’m sure from the different officers wearing body cams. There were interviews done. There was an autopsy done. Everything has to be reviewed. I have to review case law. I have to review statutes. I have to look at everything before I’ll even think about making a decision one way or the other.”

She said her decision will likely come at the first of the year, but did not want to set a hard deadline.

She will continue with her regular court workload as she reviews the case.

“I’m going to get the file, I’m going to review it thoroughly, and then I will issue a press release,” Boehm said.

Officers from several county departments went to Stewart’s Lehigh residence June 20 in response to a call indicating Stewart was drunk, suicidal, and in possession of a weapon.

According to radio transmissions recorded by the newspaper, Stewart was in a shed when officers arrived. After one officer reported that Stewart was pointing a gun at him, about a minute elapsed before “Shots fired! Shots fired! Get the ambulance!” was transmitted by another officer.

Stewart was killed, presumably from a shot fired by Vogel.

Without identifying the officer, Sheriff Robert Craft said he had been put on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Radio traffic and observation indicated the officer on leave was Vogel, who was reinstated in mid—July. Shortly thereafter, Vogel left Marion police to take a similar position in Plainville.

Last modified Nov. 8, 2017

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