A 128-page probable cause affidavit reveals a complicated domestic violence case involving a now-deceased Idaho Falls Police Department officer.
Blaine Reed, 35, died Friday from a gunshot wound. The Layton City Police Department in Utah stated he had entered the home of a man he believed was dating his ex-girlfriend, got into a physical altercation on Thursday and was shot several times. The investigation is ongoing.
Among the new details revealed in the report and additional Post Register interviews were that Reed took and passed two polygraph tests in relation to the case, that the polygraphs were arranged by his lawyer and that Reed’s lawyer was worried enough about his client’s state of mind that he had recently invited him to accompany him on vacation. (See related story.)
Charges were filed against the officer
Reed was charged in December for attempted strangulation and aggravated assault. He had been suspended from the Idaho Falls Police Department after his ex-girlfriend accused him of choking her and threatening her with a gun at his home in Jefferson County, accusations Reed and his attorney disputed.
According to a report by a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office detective, the victim said Reed attacked her after she confronted him about sleeping with another woman, threw her on the stairs, dragging her up to the bedroom and threatening to kill both of them. She said Reed allowed her to leave, then chased her to her car, took her keys, and attempted to enter the vehicle. She said Reed stopped when the car alarm went off.
Reed disputed the victim’s story, said he was the victim
Reed denied choking the victim and said there was no altercation outside of the bedroom. He told the detective he woke up to the victim hitting him and pushed her out of the bed.
Reed said he grabbed his gun before realizing the attacker was his ex-girlfriend. He denied pointing the gun at her. Both Reed and the victim said he was intoxicated during the altercation.
Reed told the detective the victim should be charged with a felony because she entered his home without his permission, accessed his phone without his permission and deleted her own contact information.
The victim told the detective she had spent several nights at Reed’s house. She said it was not unusual for her to arrive uninvited, and that Reed often kept his door unlocked. She said she often left clothes at his place that Reed would later return.
The detective examined text messages between the two discussing marriage, spending the night, and a discussion about Reed throwing away the victim’s toothbrush at his house.
“I believe this shows a dating relationship, if not cohabitation,” the detective wrote. No charges were filed against the victim.
Medical records and witnesses described the victim’s injuries
The attempted strangulation and aggravated assault report included records from both Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center and Orchard’s Naturopathic Center indicating the victim had minor injuries on her neck. The chiropractor reported seeing bruises and scratches. The medical records also reported bruises on the victim’s neck and that the muscles seemed strained.
The detective also received photos from Idaho Falls Police Department Sgt. Jessica Marley showing the victim had bruises on her arms and backside. The victim’s cousin told the detective he also saw bruises on the victim’s neck when she came to his house after the incident.
Reed was still under investigation for other crimes when he died
Jefferson County Prosecutor Michael Winchester said Reed was also under investigation for destruction of evidence and intimidating a witness in relation to the above charges. A search warrant was issued for Reed’s phone as part of the attempted strangulation investigation. Winchester said the phone Reed turned over to the detective had been factory reset. Reed told the detective he had lost his phone and bought a new one.
The investigator suspected Reed had erased his phone and issued a warrant for his phone records. While reviewing the records, investigators found messages with the victim that allegedly were part of an attempt to influence her testimony.
Reed also had exchanged messages with his attorney, Joe Filicetti. The phone records were placed under seal to protect attorney-client privilege. Winchester said the court was in the process of choosing a third party who could review and redact Reed’s messages with his lawyer. Winchester said the phone records had not been reviewed when Reed died.
Attorney-client privilege extends after the client dies, Winchester said. Because of Reed’s death, the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office does not intend to review the phone records.
The attorneys disputed the value of Reed’s polygraphs
Reed took a polygraph examination arranged by his attorney on Oct. 31. The polygrapher, Chip Morgan, formulated four questions with Reed. Reed said during the polygraph examination that he did not grab the victim’s keys out of her car, that there was no altercation outside of the bedroom, and that he did not throw her on the stairs. The polygraph did not find any indication he was being deceptive.
The Jefferson County detective was dismissive of the polygraph in his findings, saying Reed wasn’t asked about the attempted strangulation or the gun threat.
“I believe this is important because the polygraph was arranged by his attorney to the best of my knowledge and done two days after the CPO hearing where (the victim) testified to the choking and threatening with the firearm,” the detective wrote.
Filicetti said Reed took a second polygraph on Jan. 18 that asked him more specific questions, and that it also did not find deception. The polygrapher asked Reed if he “intentionally choke(d) her,” to which Reed said no.
“During the incident at your house on October 12 — did you purposely put your hands around (the victim’s) neck?” the polygrapher asked. Reed answered he did not. The polygraph indicates there was no deception.
Winchester said he reviewed the results of the second exam with another polygrapher and determined it was “irrelevant.” Winchester said the polygrapher asked Reed if he choked the victim with his hands. The victim told the detective Reed choked her with his forearm. Winchester also noted that the polygrapher did not ask about the gun threat.
Polygraph examinations are not admissible in court as evidence, but often are cited by attorneys during sentencings.
The victim wanted the case dropped
The victim was scheduled to take a polygraph examination on Dec. 18. Five days before the appointment she emailed the detective saying she no longer wanted to press charges and would not undergo the examination. She said the case would not change what happened, and that she wanted to move on.
Winchester filed a subpoena for the victim to testify. In a Jan. 30 email to her attorney, the victim said she told Winchester she would not obey the subpoena.
“I feel like they are trying to suppress my agency/voice in this case in order to coerce me into complying,” the victim wrote.
The victim originally opposed a no-contact order the prosecutor had recommended between her and Reed. On Feb. 4, she sent an email to Magistrate Judge Robert Crowley saying she decided she did want a no-contact order issued.
Winchester said Reed was not arrested on the charges, citing Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 4, which requires prosecutors to issue a summons if an arrest does not seem necessary. Winchester said Reed had no criminal history.
Who said what?
Reed was placed on light duty on Oct. 15 and placed on administrative leave on Nov. 20. The detective spoke to eight people who Reed and the victim spoke to in the weeks following the accusations.
Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Shane Hubler told the detective the victim contacted him at about 4 a.m. Oct. 12. He said the victim told him Reed would say she attacked him, and that she repeated that statement several times. Hubler said he found this “weird.” He told the detective he did not see bruises on the victim’s neck.
Hubler expressed skepticism to the detective about the victim’s story, saying it sounded uncharacteristic of Reed to attack someone.
“For his demeanor that is not like what he is,” Hubler said, according to the report. “He is not that type of guy.”
Hubler said he spoke to Reed and that Reed told him all he remembered was grabbing the gun. Reed later told the detective he never said that to Hubler.
The detective also detailed several instances in which he believed Reed used his girlfriend to try to influence his colleagues’ impression of the events.
“Based on this inconsistencies (sic) and omissions along with the references to phone use, I believe Blaine used his cellular telephone to communicate with people who had spoken to (the victim) and developed his story as he obtained information,” the detective wrote.