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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cheney Police Report Released (In Part)



The police report has finally been released regarding Vice President Cheney's shooting of a hunting companion in the face, neck and chest.

The Smoking Gun has several pages up on their website, but does not have copies of the affadavits and/or individual statements from Cheney, Whittington, Katherine Armstrong, Pamela Willeford or any other potential witnesses involved in the hunting party. The local cops are not releasing that information to the public, according to the Smoking Gun.

The fact that the local Sheriff spoke to a predecessor who now works for Ms. Armstrong should come as no surprise to readers from this morning. (See here for details.) But there are a few interesting bits that I want to highlight over the five pages that Smoking Gun has made public.

The report is authored primarily by the Chief Deputy San Miguel, who was detailed to complete the investigation. According to his report, the call came in about the shooting at approximately 5:30 pm. His narrative begins the next morning -- when he was allowed to enter the ranch and speak with the Veep. He names the following as witnesses to the incident and members of the hunting party (p. 1):
Dick Cheney, Michael Andrew "Bo" Hubert, Pam Willeford, Jerry Medellin, Katherine Armstrong, Sarita Armstrong Hixon, Harry Whittington, and Oscar Medellin
I don't recall seeing the name Bo Hubert prior to today, does anyone else?

Upon speaking with the victim, Whittington, in the hospital, he declined to have his statement recorded, but will be providing a later written affadavit. (No word as to whether said affadavit has yet been provided in the docs that Smoking Gun has.) Whittington tells the Chief Deputy that no one had been drinking alcohol and that (and this was also new to me) he had gone to the truck wherein the Armstrong sisters were sitting with his quail and offered to allow them to hunt, since he had gotten a double. (Police report, p. 2) After they declined the offer, Whittington then returned to the field where Cheney and the rest of the party were hunting.

The positioning of the shot is detailed based on Cheney's statement on Page 1. Whittington was standing in a lower area, so Cheney would have been shooting downward at the bird. According to Cheney, had Whittington been standing level with him, he would have shot Whittington much lower on his body. (Police report, page 1.)

There are still a lot of unanswered questions and details which are not included. I would hope that copies of the statements and affadavits would be made public at some point, but thus far no word as to when that will happen. It looks like Pamela Willeford did provide some sort of statement, along with others who would have been hunting in the field (at least, so far as the report indicates, anyway) with Cheney and Whittington.

No information on the type of gear any of the hunters were wearing -- including no answer as to whether protective ear gear would have been used or what type of clothing Whittington was wearing through which he was shot. No diagrams are included that I can find from the police, at least not on the Smoking Gun website. Clearly there was no alcohol or other toxicology testing done, since the Chief Deputy failed to meet with the Veep until the next morning. And no listing of medications is provided for assessment.

All in all, sketchy, but it looks like everyone's story was consistent-ish with everyone else's. At least, according to the police report, as far as we can tell without seeing the actual statements and affadavits for ourselves. Lots of questions, still getting sketchy answers -- I think that's the bottom line.

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