Casey Wheeless

Wheeless

An Idaho Falls was sentenced to a rider program Monday for hitting a man with his car.

Casey Wheeless, 55, was arrested in Feb. 2018 after the confrontation. According to court records, Wheeless’ wife woke him up when two men came on to his property to repossess his brother’s car.

Wheeless told police he thought the men were stealing it.

The workers intended to leave when Wheeless became aggressive. The victims tried to tell Wheeless they were leaving when he entered the Tahoe, and used it to ram their car.

One of the men recorded with a cellphone while Wheeless then drove the car toward the victim, knocking him into a stack of wood. The victims showed a deputy the video and the bruises caused by the attack.

Wheeless said he calmed down after hitting the victim and talked to them.

The victim was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for treatment in the emergency room and released.

Wheeless was charged with aggravated battery. A jury found him guilty last month. District Judge Dane Watkins gave Wheeless an underlying sentence of two-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half years in prison.

Retained jurisdiction, also known as a rider program, is a sentence that requires the defendant to undergo classes and therapy for up to a year to change their behavior. The judge receives a report on the defendant’s performance at the end of the program and may either release them on probation or impose the underlying sentence.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.

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