One of two brothers charged in a shootout with police that was captured on videotape wrote about the Feb. 15 gunplay in a handwritten letter to his wife, a newspaper reported Thursday.
The undated contents of Chevie Kehoe’s letter refer to his brother as his “battle partner” and said “I guess we made national news, that must mean we’re pretty bad,” the Wilmington News-Journal reported.
The Kehoes are formerly of Colville, Wash.
Kehoe, 24, and his brother, Cheyne Kehoe, 21, are in jail awaiting separate trials in Clinton County Common Pleas Court on charges they shot at police officers on two occasions Feb. 15 near Wilmington. The first encounter that day, with a State Highway Patrol trooper and a sheriff’s deputy, were taped by a videocamera in the trooper’s cruiser and broadcast nationally.
The letter was handwritten on seven small pieces of paper signed Chevie Kehoe and addressed to Karena. Kehoe’s wife is Karena Gumm.
The letter is among evidence Clinton County prosecutors have filed with the court to prepare for Kehoe’s Dec. 8 trial on charges including attempted murder of a police officer, felonious assault and carrying a concealed weapon. Cheyne Kehoe’s trial on similar charges is set for Jan. 5.
The officers were not wounded.
“Cheyne is now a man in my eyes and I owe my freedom to his ‘brave heart.’ If he hadn’t acted when and how he did, I could of been looking through bars for a long time,” the letter said.
Fearing the letter would fall into the wrong hands, the writer closed with a message to the authorities: “there will always be those who hate the enslaving powers you confine them with and will ‘forever and always’ seek to destroy you and yours.”
Jerry McHenry, the assistant state public defender for Chevie Kehoe, declined to comment on the letter Thursday but said the defense may try to keep the letter out of trial evidence.
He would not say if he believes Kehoe if the pages are authentic.
“The prosecutor thinks they are,” McHenry said.
Chevie Kehoe was captured this summer in Utah after Cheyne Kehoe surrendered to authorities in Washington state.
Chevie Kehoe has said the officers followed him and fired first. The State Highway Patrol, whose trooper was involved in the encounter, declined to comment.
Lt. John Born, a patrol spokesman, referred questions to county Prosecutor William Peelle, who did not return a message seeking comment.
Chevie Kehoe and Daniel Lee Graham of Oklahoma City are charged in the 1996 deaths of Arkansas gun dealer William Mueller and his family.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.