(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden issued this statement following today’s sentencing of John R.K. Howard:

“As a result of today’s sentencing hearing, the defendant has now pleaded guilty to and been sentenced for a felony crime. In light of the provable facts, this result is an appropriate conclusion to a difficult case. My thoughts continue to be with the victim and his family and my hope is that today’s sentencing will help them put this matter behind them.

“Our system seeks justice for crime victims. The decision to arrive at a plea agreement was based on many things, including a desire to protect the victim, the family’s desire to prevent their son from having to testify during a trial, as well as the victim’s family wanting a felony conviction for the defendant. The decision took those requests into account and was based on the admissible evidence in the case and what the law requires to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

“As a prosecutor, my job is to determine the admissible and relevant facts of a case and then prosecute accordingly. While this has been a traumatic event for the victim and his family, I must hold the facts of the case up against Idaho law.

“I want to express my appreciation to the investigators, prosecutors and the judge in this case for their work to balance the needs of justice, including the victim’s protection.

“It is my duty to protect the victim and hold the perpetrator accountable. Those two obligations have been met.”

Documents related to the case are available online here.