Former U.S. Senate and gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell will face only a misdemeanor charge of battery stemming from a confrontation on his Idaho County property.
The Lewiston Tribune had originally reported Rammell would face a felony — which, if it stood, would preclude the perennial candidate from seeking office again. But when a formal complaint was filed Friday, the charge was a misdemeanor.
The article also weaves a bizarre tale of the events leading up to Rammell's arrest. In a plot twist that would do Yosemite Sam proud, Rammell and his business partner blew a gold mine during the escalating dispute.
But first, let's backtrack a bit. Rammell had originally allowed William Shira's older son, daughter-in-law and two young children to live in a house Rammell had been leasing.
Reports the Tribune's Kathy Hedberg: "Instead, Rammell said, the entire Shira family of about 15 people moved into the house without his permission and when he demanded they leave, the Shiras refused. Later the Shiras did leave but did not remove their belongings. Rammell said he and Keith Keyser, his business partner, moved all of the Shiras' belongings off the property and blew up a mine the Shiras claimed was full of gold.
On Sept. 8, Rammell said he was hunting for bear and spotted William Shira and his son, Than, back on the property near the mine. Rammell confronted the men, demanded they leave and the argument escalated. Rammell said he kicked at William Shira and Shira came back at him with a crowbar but did
not make bodily contact. Rammell said he attempted to place the Shiras under citizen's arrest, but the Shiras scoffed at him, then left."
A sheriff's deputy arrived when Rammell was attempting to carry out the citizen's arrest, and he arrested Rammell.