The Crook County resident was facing 20 separate charges

After facing a four-day trial this past week, Crook County resident Jerry Strode was cleared of 20 charges stemming from an August 2012 shooting incident.

Strode faced three counts of Attempted Assault in the First Degree, six counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, six counts of Menacing, three counts of Pointing a Firearm at Another, one count of Assault in the Fourth Degree, and one count of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants.

The trial began on Monday Dec. 16 and concluded the following Thursday after a 12-person jury found Strode not guilty of all charges.

“The jury deliberated into the evening,” said Crook County Deputy District Attorney Katherine Kraul-Hernberg, the prosecuting attorney. She added that the jury returned the verdict after meeting for about three-and-a-half hours.

The events that prompted the trial were portrayed in very different ways by the prosecution and defense. The prosecution account said that three young men, ages 15-18 year old, had gone rabbit hunting, when Strode came out and shot at them with his shotgun.

“As they ran away, he got back in his vehicle and went back home,” Kraul-Hernberg said of the prosecution’s case, adding that Strode was allegedly under the influence of intoxicants at the time. “The children's mother arrived at the his (Strode’s) home and he then proceeded to point the firearm at her as well as the 16-year-old younger brother and the mother’s significant other. . . There was a struggle regarding the shotgun at that point.”

Strode’s defense attorney, Bill Condron, could not be reached by press time. However Kraul-Hernberg provided an account of the defense’s case.

“He went down to the area where the young men were hunting to shoot at a cougar, and he fired three rounds out of his pick-up with a shotgun,” she said. “He then returned to his home. His view was he was then assaulted in his own front yard and had his shotgun taken.”

Kraul-Hernberg declined to comment on the outcome of the trial, but she did speak to the level of importance placed on these types of cases.

“We take any case that involves a firearm very seriously.”

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