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Jury finds Jake Eilander not guilty

Jake Eilander

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - UPDATED 7:30 p.m.: The fate of Jake Eilander has now been determined. The jury has found him not guilty.

Eilander was charged in the shooting death of Ulises Rangel behind Planet Fitness in Idaho Falls on March 30, 2022.

With the verdict, all charges and bonds have now been dropped and Eilander has been released into his own custody.

ORIGINAL 3:18 p.m. The jury is in deliberations in the trial of Jake Eilander. He is charged in the shooting death of Ulises Rangel behind Planet Fitness in Idaho Falls on March 30, 2022.

Attorneys gave their closing arguments before the jury Wednesday.

Bonneville County Prosecutor Randy Neal reviewed with the jury all of the evidence seen throughout the trial.

He argued that self-defense and Stand Your Ground cannot be applied to Eilander because he was the initial aggressor. He says Ulises Rangel's behavior did not justify Eilander's lethal response.

"This wasn't bringing a gun to a fistfight," said Neal. "This was starting a gunfight with an unarmed person."

In response, Eilander's defense attorney, Alexander Sosa, shocked the jury by screaming profanities from the stand quoting the exact words allegedly yelled by the victim. He argued, "It was not an attorney behind a podium with a suit," that Eilander heard shouting at him.

Sosa affirms that Eilander was terrified and thought only to protect himself and Brandi, which is not malice.

"He had the ability to put eight more bullets through his barrel but he didn't," Sosa said. "That's not malice." He urged the jury to put aside their own emotions while deliberating and to consider the emotions and danger in that parking lot.

The court is in recess as the jury deliberates. It's unknown when the jury will make their decision.

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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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