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Monday, April 14, 2008

ID- Rapist in shootout faced more prison time

9-5-2006 Idaho:

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) -- A convicted rapist who was killed in a police shootout was facing up to seven years in prison because of probation violations.

The shootout Thursday left two probation officers and one police officer wounded. Nicholas McKenna, 21, who was No. 7 on Bannock County's 10 most wanted list, was killed in the gun battle.

Pocatello police are still investigating the shooting and have not released details of the shootout, but probation officer Jed Dayley recommended in a May 30 probation violation report that a bench warrant be issued for McKenna and that his original sentence be imposed, the Idaho State Journal reported.

Dayley, who was shot in the leg, was released from Portneuf Medical Center early Saturday or late Friday night, hospital officials said. Pocatello police officer Matthew Shutes, who was shot in the foot, was also treated at the hospital and released, as was probation and parole manager Wally Peterson, who suffered bruising on his chest after a bullet struck his bulletproof vest.

McKenna was convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl in July 2003 and was sentenced to seven years in prison. But instead of ordering him to serve the full sentence, 6th District Judge Randy Smith sent McKenna to six-month prison boot camp program and put him on seven years probation.

In his May 30 report, Dayley said McKenna had four probation violations. The first accused McKenna of having contact with Melanie Lampien, whom he had married in April. Under terms of his probation, McKenna was not allowed to have sexual contact with anyone unless they were able to give effective consent and they had been introduced to McKenna's probation officer.

In September 2005, McKenna admitted to the relationship with Lampien and was told to stop seeing her by Dayley.

"On 5/21/06, I discovered Mr. McKenna had re-established a relationship with Melanie in March 2006, which led to them getting married in April 2006. On 5/21/06, I found Mr. McKenna living with Melanie and her 13-year-old son," Dayley wrote in his report.

Being in contact with the child was also a violation of McKenna's probation, Dayley said. Because he changed homes when he moved in with Lampien and did not inform Dayley, he committed his third probation violation.

His fourth violation came as a result of the other three. Because he violated his probation, McKenna was removed from the sex offender treatment program he was in. His probation required his active participation in such a program.

Despite Dayley's recommendations, it took law enforcement officials nearly three months of searching before they found McKenna at Lampien's home on Thursday.

Lampien, 33, was arrested and charged with felony harboring a fugitive. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison.

Meanwhile, Pocatello police Capt. Kirk Nelson said a psychologist has been brought in to talk with officers present at the shooting and said some officers may be given time off to cope with the trauma.

"We had no indication going into this that the suspect had a tendency toward violence," Nelson said. "This is a good example of something we thought was routine going postal quickly."

Lampien allegedly invited the officers into her apartment before the shootout, but it is unclear whether police or McKenna fired first.

Deputy Bannock County Coroner Kim Quick declined to answer when asked how many times McKenna had been shot.

Idaho Gov. Jim Risch visited the three injured officers at Portneuf Medical Center on Friday, thanking them for risking their lives.

"I told them that on behalf of the people of Idaho that we understand the dangers law enforcement officers face every day and we sincerely appreciate what they do," Risch said. "All three of the officers were in good spirits and they were all anxious to get back to work."

Risch presented each officer with a Governors Medallion for bravery. ..more.. by Star Tribune

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