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Washoe deputy justified in fatal shooting of Sparks suspect

July 1, 2019

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Washoe County district attorney has cleared a sheriff’s deputy of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a suspect who was trying to steal a shotgun from the deputy’s patrol car.

District Attorney Chris Hicks concluded in a 34-page report released late Friday that Deputy Yancy Butler was justified in killing Cory Stephens in Sparks in August 2017.

Hicks says Stephens had been comatose in a truck in Sparks when the deputy determined Stephens was wanted for failing to appear at sentencing for drug charges and eluding an officer.

Butler tried to arrest him during a struggle but Stephens was able to grab his police radio and repeatedly strike him on the head.

Stephens then opened the unlocked door of the patrol vehicle and reached for Butler’s shotgun, refused orders to stop and was shot by Butler.

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