Rifle officer cleared in suspect’s shooting
An outside investigation has cleared a Rifle police officer of criminal wrongdoing in the shooting of Phillip Amonette Oct. 22.
The Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s Office has concluded no that no criminal charges “can be filed or proven,” the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
An officer seriously wounded Amonette after shooting him after he allegedly shot a second officer in a protective vest. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office investigated the shooting at the request of Rifle Police Chief Daryl Meisner and DA Martin Beeson. Beeson plans to make the investigation’s complete findings available to the public after completion of the prosecution of Amonette.
Amonette, 53, faces charges including first-degree attempted murder after deliberation and is in Garfield County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.
He is accused of shooting an officer with a large-caliber handgun after two officers responded to a domestic violence call. The impact to the officer’s vest knocked him to the ground and left a welt on his chest. Police say a second officer returned fire, hitting Amonette multiple times.
The officers’ names have not been made public.
Amonette suffered life-threatening injuries and underwent multiple surgeries. He has appeared in court seated in a wheelchair and with one arm in a sling. As of mid-March, his medical care in jail had cost the county nearly $78,000.