BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Nearly nine years after the standoff at Ruby Ridge, a federal judge has formally dismissed charges against an FBI sharpshooter in the death of the wife of white separatist Randy Weaver.
U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge, in an order dated Tuesday, dismissed the state manslaughter indictment of Lon Horiuchi at the request of Boundary County Prosecutor Brett Benson.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in early June rejected federal claims that Horiuchi was immune from prosecution because he was acting in his official capacity when he killed Vicki Weaver. The majority said he could be tried if he was found to have acted illegally in that official capacity.
Benson announced the following week that he would drop the case, saying it was unlikely the country could prove the charge given the amount of time that had passed since the August 1992 shooting. The charges had been filed by his predecessor.
Vicki Weaver died on the second day of an 11-day siege at the couple's northern Idaho cabin that began with a shootout in which the Weavers' teen-age son and a deputy U.S. marshal were killed.
Weaver and family friend Kevin Harris later surrendered. Both were acquitted of murder and all other charges in connection with the confrontation. Weaver was convicted of failing to appear for trial on the firearms charges and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
The Justice Department last summer settled the last civil suit stemming from the standoff: It admitted no wrongdoing but paid Harris $380,000 to drop his $10 million civil damage suit.
In 1995, the government paid Weaver and his three surviving children $3.1 million for the killings of his wife and son.