BLACKFOOT – Jesse William Allen Whipkey, 67, accepted a plea agreement to aggravated assault with an enhancement for use of a deadly weapon in committing a felony Thursday afternoon.
He faces a maximum sentence of five years for aggravated assault with an additional 15 years for using or attempting to use a firearm in commission of a felony.
The aggravated assault charge states Whipkey intentionally tried to do violence to another person, namely his daughter, Amy Mayer, when he aimed a .22 pistol at her and pulled the trigger.
“This has left a well founded fear in your daughter,” the complaint states.
“My sister, Amy [Mayer], and I know, regardless, he will be away from harming someone else, especially in our family,” said Amber Reines. “He needs to learn remorse and accept responsibility.
“We may be able to forgive him but we won’t forget things,” Reines said.
Reines and her brother-in-law Daryl Mayer took the pistol away from Whipkey during the altercation on Feb. 25.
“I was in the military, so I was trained for that,” said Reines. “I took the revolver outside and I seen the five rounds but I couldn’t remember how to get them out of the revolver.
Help came when she handed the revolver to Cody Byington.
Defense attorney Neal Randall said, “This is exactly the resolution we wanted. “He [Whipkey] kept saying, ‘I didn’t mean to kill her; I just wanted to scare her,’” said his attorney. “He made a poor decision.
“He has always recognized that,” said Randall. “This is a serious, serious crime.
“The plus side of the sentencing is the court can make a very informed decision because of the testimony presented over the last three days,” said Randall.
“The trial was brutal,” said Bingham County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Andrew. “It didn’t turn out as we expected.”
The original charge against Whipkey was attempted murder with a weapons enhancement.
Andrew continued. “There are different views of the evidence; what the girls are saying and what June [their mother] and Jess [their father] are saying.
“It was not cut and dry,” he said. “We knew going in that we were going to be fighting what was in his head.”
Andrew offered two recordings that he planned to use in his rebuttal Thursday afternoon. These recordings were of a second jail house recording between Whipkey and his good friend, Gary Laird, and the 911 call between June Whipkey (Whipkey’s wife) and dispatch.
Depending on which attorney you were, the interpretation of the recordings seemed to exonerate your position.
Defense attorney Randall said he should have received the new material before the last day of the trial; that the material was exculpatory.
Exculpatory evidence tends to support the defense’s theory of innocence. Inculpatory evidence can incriminate someone or put the blame for something on somebody.
Thursday was the third day of this jury trial. The jury waited in the jury room as the prosecutor, defense attorney and defendant and judge agreed on the change of charge to aggravated assault with a weapon enhancement.
The jury did not deliberate on this case.
After the plea agreement was reached, the jury returned to the courtroom. Seventh District Judge David C. Nye thanked the jurors for their service and then dismissed them.
Whipkey was returned to the Bingham County Jail to await his sentencing at 11:15 a.m. on Aug. 17.