Jury trial set for Hill rape case

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  • Hill

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    Essman

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    Quimby

  • Hill

  • 1

    Essman

  • 2

    Quimby

By CHANSE WATSON

Managing Editor

WALLACE — The first Shoshone County Law Day of June had District Judge Scott Wayman addressing the criminal cases of roughly 30 individuals this week.

Among the many cases heard on June 5 were those of Caleb Hill, Michael Essman and Travis Quimby.

Rape charges were filled against Hill in July 2017 for alleged events that occurred between him and an adult female in September 2015.

Court records accuse him of “penetrating the vaginal opening of (redacted), a female person, with his penis, and were she is unable to resist due to any intoxicating, narcotic or anesthetic substance or was unconscious of the act at the time.”

It is believed that both involved parties had been drinking at the time, but the prosecution argues that the female was unable to give consent (and/or did not give consent) as she was unconscious.

Hill plead not guilty to the charge in October 2017 and posted bond in the amount of $50,000.

After two years of witness statements, DNA testing, changes in defense representation and refilling of charges — it appears that Hill will finally see a jury trial next week.

During the brief status conference on Wednesday, Defense attorney Daniel Sheckler and Shoshone County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Benjamin Allen confirmed the June 11 trial date and agreed that it should take two to three days to complete.

Idaho Code 18-6104 states that “Rape is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not less than one (1) year, and the imprisonment may be extended to life in the discretion of the District Judge, who shall pass sentence.”

Earlier at Law Day was the arraignment of Michael Essman, who was arrested in May 2019 for three drug related charges including possession of methamphetamine and heroin with intent to deliver.

The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office reported that on April 21, an SCSO deputy was conducting a routine patrol in the city of Smelterville when they observed a silver Toyota Camry commit a moving violation and initiated a traffic stop.

After making initial contact with the occupants of the vehicle, the deputy requested the use of SCSO’s drug detection K-9, deputy Lulu.

Lulu and her handler, deputy Ben Abshire, responded to the scene and proceeded to conduct a free air sniff around the vehicle. The free air sniff concluded with Lulu alerting to the vehicle, indicating the presence of illegal substances. Deputies then initiated a search of the vehicle and as the investigation progressed, a backpack believed to be containing narcotics was seized along with drug paraphernalia.

Essman was initially released without charges, but eight days later, a search warrant was executed on the seized backpack and it was found to contain a “white crystalline substance suspected to be methamphetamine and a brown/tar-like substance suspected to be heroin.”

During the arraignment, it was announced that an agreement had been reached between the defense and the prosecution.

Essman agreed to plead guilty to the possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver charge and in return, the state dropped the other two charges.

Following the arraignment, Essman was also released on his own recognizance and must submit to weekly random drug testing.

His sentencing is set for Sept. 4.

The maximum penalty for this charge is seven years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine. The state is expected to argue for this sentence.

According to iCourt, Essman has a criminal record in Shoshone County which includes numerous vehicle violations and serving 2-4 years in prison for possession of a controlled substance charges in 2009.

Also taking place on Wednesday was the arraignment of Travis Quimby, who was facing heroin dealing and possession of stolen property charges.

Court records accuse Quimby of knowingly possessing heroin with intent to deliver on April 19 and knowingly possessing stolen property (a Hilti flat grade laser level, valued at $1,355) on March 25.

Like Essman’s case, both sides in this came to a pre-trial offer, which had Quimby pleading guilty to the stolen property charge and to an amended drug possession charge (without intent to deliver). In exchange, the state agreed to push for a retained jurisdiction program and to place him on a rider — following the completion of that retained jurisdiction program.

Allen stated that this course of action would allow Quimby to treat his substance abuse problems, which arguably contribute to his criminal behavior.

After Quimby waived his right to a pre-sentence investigation, Judge Wayman agreed with the recommendations put forward by both parties and imposed a five-year prison sentence (two years fixed, three indeterminate).

Wayman also imposed several fines and court costs in addition to reimbursing the owner of the stolen property.

“Stay away from drugs, stay away from trouble,” Wayman said to the defendant. “Hopefully this time around, things will stick.”

Shown on iCourt, Quimby has an extensive criminal history in Idaho involving multiple property and drug related charges.

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