BLACKFOOT, Idaho (KIFI) - Judge Darren B. Simpson sentenced Marcus Kurt Yupe on April 25.
A jury convicted Yupe on March 1, 2022, of two counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement personnel, eluding a police officer, and possession of fentanyl following a two-day trial. Yupe was also convicted of being a persistent violator, a sentencing enhancement which carries a mandatory minimum prison term of five years and a maximum term of life.
On the two counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement personnel, Yupe was sentenced to a prison term of at least five years and at most 15 years, which will run concurrently to each other. On the fentanyl possession and eluding counts, Yupe was sentenced to a term of at least two years and at most 12 years, which will also run concurrently to each other and to the aggravated assault counts.
The terms on all four counts will run consecutively to Yupe’s two-and-a-half year prison sentence on a felony eluding conviction that was entered against him in 2020. That sentence was suspended in 2020, and he was placed on probation, but he will now begin to serve that term as a result of a probation violation he incurred when he committed these new offenses.
Overall, Yupe will serve at least seven and a half years in prison but will receive credit for time he served in the Bingham County Jail while this case was pending.
The charges arose from an incident on May 8, 2021, which began in the City of Blackfoot, Idaho. A Blackfoot police officer attempted to stop a pickup truck being driven by Yupe due to its fictitious and suspended license plates. Yupe fled the officer, reaching speeds of 70 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood where the posted speed limit was 25 miles per hour.
Ahead of the pursuit, Corporal Lawrence Henrie and Deputy Brook Ferro of the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office deployed a “spike strip” device across Shilling Avenue just prior to a bridge spanning the Blackfoot River. Cpl. Henrie controlled the spike strip from a position on the opposite side of the road from Yupe and Dep. Ferro stood just off the roadway near a marked patrol vehicle. Yupe drove directly toward Cpl. Henrie and Dep. Ferro, prompting Cpl. Henrie to open fire on the truck. Cpl. Henrie’s shots struck the driver’s side of the pickup truck, but Yupe continued driving. Both deputies narrowly avoided being hit by the truck; it passed within two feet of Cpl. Henrie and within approximately ten feet of Dep. Ferro.
The pursuit continued for approximately 11 minutes. Blackfoot officers and Bingham County deputies apprehended Yupe once his truck became inoperative due to driving on tires that had been punctured by Cpl. Henrie’s spike strip. After Yupe was taken into custody, a Blackfoot officer located pills on his person which were later determined to contain fentanyl. Yupe had not been prescribed the pills.
The Bingham County Prosecutor’s Office charged Yupe with aggravated assault on Cpl. Henrie, aggravated assault on Dep. Ferro, a felony count of eluding, a felony count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, driving under the influence, resisting and obstructing, and the persistent violator sentencing enhancement. The DUI and resisting and obstructing charges were dropped by the Prosecutor’s Office prior to trial.