LEWISTON — A misdemeanor battery charge against former gubernatorial hopeful Rex F. Rammell was dropped Tuesday.
The charge, stemming from an alleged altercation with William Shira Sept. 8 in Idaho County, was dismissed by Idaho County Deputy Prosecutor Adam Green during a court hearing, according to the court clerk’s office.
Green did not return a phone call seeking comment on his reasons for the dismissal.
Rammell was accused of grabbing Shira twice by the throat, according to court records. The alleged altercation ensued after Rammell claimed he found Shira trespassing on the property where he was staying, and alleges Shira came at him with a crowbar but did not make contact, according to court records.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Rammell said he’s still upset about being charged in the first place, but thankful Green dismissed the case.
The Kooskia-area resident, who said he is contemplating a run for the Idaho Legislature next year, continues to face four other misdemeanor Idaho Department of Fish and Game violations, alleging he was bear hunting before sheriff’s deputies were called to the alleged altercation between he and Shira Sept. 8. He is charged with purchasing a hunting tag, permit or license while his regular hunting license was revoked in Bonneville County.
The trial in that case is set for March 9 in Grangeville, according to the court, which Rammell said will give him time to appeal his conviction for unlawfully killing an elk last November in Bonneville County.
”That will give me time to win the original case and get a retrial and then my entire sentence will be gone,” Rammell said.
Rammell lost his hunting privileges for two years in July after an Idaho Falls jury convicted him in the elk poaching case. He later pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement to a separate misdemeanor charging he passed out leaflets to jurors called to serve in that case, and was given a withheld judgment in September.
Oral argument on the appeal is set for January in Bonneville County.
”If you deal with the Fish and Game, they treat mistakes like a person criminally intended to do them,” Rammell said in talking about the charges.
Rammell said his concerns about Fish and Game, along with his recent ordeal, have Rammell contemplating a run for the Idaho Legislature from Idaho County next year. He told the Tribune he won’t make an official decision for a few more months.
Rammell made an unsuccessful bid to unseat Gov. Butch Otter in 2010, and previously lost in a run for the U.S. Senate in 2008. He moved to Idaho County from southeastern Idaho earlier this year.