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Family of man killed by Utah deputy files lawsuit

Published December 14, 2012 8:25 am

Court • "We want answers," aunt says of Corey Kanosh's shooting death.
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The family of a man killed by a Millard County sheriff's deputy earlier this year has filed a federal lawsuit in hopes of answering questions about the chase and deadly shooting.

Corey Kanosh's family says the Millard County Sheriff's Office has failed to provide their attorney with reports on the Oct. 15 shooting.

"Since then, Millard County has done nothing to answer the Kanosh family's questions about why this happened and whether it could have been avoided," attorney Joshua Baron said in a press release Thursday. "The most concerning part of this case is that we have been informed that the sheriff deputy who shot Corey Kanosh was returned to active duty before the full investigation report was even completed. The Kanosh family simply wants answers about what happened on the night Corey was killed. His family is entitled to this information, and the public has a right to know whether law enforcement is acting with sufficient caution when using deadly force."

The wrongful-death suit, which seeks an unspecified amount of money, was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court. The lawsuit names Millard County, Sheriff Robert Dekker and Deputy Dale Josse as defendants.

Baron said the details gathered by his investigators are not all "lining up" with the few details released so far by police investigators.

"We want answers and we feel like this is the only way we're going to get them," Kanosh's aunt, Gari Lafferty, said during a press conference in Salt Lake City.

"Whether it's in our favor or not ... it would give us peace of mind," Kanosh's sister, Marlena Kanosh, added.

According to police officials, the deputy had attempted to pull over Kanosh after his mother called 911 to report that her son was intoxicated and had taken her car from the Kanosh Paiute Indian Reservation. But Kanosh and another man in the car, 21-year-old Dana Harnes, of Millard County, sped away, and a pursuit began on paved and unpaved roads, with the vehicle eventually stopping in the foothills east of the town of Kanosh.

Kanosh and Harnes began to run, according to the deputy, who used a Taser to shock Kanosh. A fight ensued when the deputy attempted to take him into custody.

A preliminary investigation by the Utah County Sheriff's Office — which was asked to look at the case as an independent agency — appeared to support the deputy's account.

"There was a struggle, the deputy felt like his life was in danger and that's why he said he shot the suspect," Utah County sheriff's Lt. Shawn Chipman said on Oct. 17. "It appears he [the deputy] was going to the ground with the suspect on top of him when he fired."


Twitter: @aaronfalk






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