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Idaho prosecutors seek death penalty for shooting suspect

Benjamin Poirier
Ada County Sheriff's Office
Benjamin Poirier

HORSESHOE BEND, Idaho (AP) - Boise County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against an Idaho man accused of fatally shooting an 11-year-old boy in March.

Prosecutor Adam Strong filed the notice of intent to seek the death penalty on May 20 against Benjamin Poirier, 44, of Emmett after police say he killed the boy in Horseshoe Bend on March 15, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Poirier is accused of walking into the trailer park where the boy lived and was heard yelling about the end of the world, police said. He allegedly started shooting through the trailer and a bullet struck the child.

Poirier then drove his car into a propane tank and hit the trailer after the shooting, Idaho State Police said.

The child's name was not released.

Poirier's attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In capital cases, prosecutors are required to file their notice of intent, listing aggravating circumstances in a murder case that they believe makes the crime punishable by death.

Poirier "knowingly created a great risk of death to many persons" and the killing was "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity," the notice said. His conduct "before, during or after the commission of the murder at hand, has exhibited a propensity to commit murder which will probably constitute a continuing threat to society."

Hearings scheduled for June 30 and July 13 are expected to discuss Poirier's competency and his evaluation. The results are not public record until a decision about Poirier's competency is reached.

Poirier is being held without bail.

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