Editor's note: This article has been updated to include Hyde's email response to The Jefferson Star.
Jefferson County officials report a Rigby mother has threatened to “gather 60 to 70 people with guns stand up for their rights and take matters into their own hands” after failing to gain custody in a child protection case.
Now, she has been trespassed from Jefferson County Courthouse and the courthouse annex.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy John Wolfe said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) forwarded emails to the Jefferson Coutny Sheriff’s Office Feb. 10. He said the emails indicated Kimberly Ann Hyde Rhodes threatened the prosecutor’s office, the Department of Health and Welfare, the judicial branch, attorney general, local court and other government agencies.
“In this statement that Ms. Hyde made, she is seeking the FBI’s help to do a citizen’s arrest on any of those entities, is the way that I read this,” Wolfe told Jefferson County commissioners in an emergency meeting Feb. 12.
Wolfe said the email went on to state Hyde knew 60 or 70 people with guns willing to help, implying a threat of violence. Mark Withers, District 7 deputy attorney general and the state’s attorney handling the child protection case Hyde is involved in, said he has received numerous threats from Hyde accusing him of conspiracy and mishandling the case in other ways. He said the child protection case began in August of 2018.
“She’s constantly been turning me in and calling Homeland Security, FBI, state police, my boss — she has done that quite a bit,” Withers said. “I had not really been too ruffled by that. It’s just the cost of doing business.”
Until now, none of those threats have involved violence, Withers said. He said Hyde recently threatened a citizen’s arrest of Withers in a call to the attorney general’s office, but he said the threat was general and “did not mention armed people.” On Feb. 12, he said he did not believe those in Boise took action on the threat as Hyde has called the office numerous times in the past. He said the emails forwarded from the FBI were more troubling.
“It surprised me, because she hadn’t ever gone that direction before, and I didn’t think she would,” Withers said. “I did hear through the grapevine many months ago that she does have arms in the house, and so the court has always been putting up the metal detector when it’s time for her hearing. But I did not think she would go this direction. If she’s serious about that threat, it would certainly be a crime for her to attempt to do a citizen’s arrest on an attorney general for having done his duty. That would be something unheard of.”
Wolfe said Hyde indicated in the emails she would try to get law enforcement involved and then approach media outlets before attempting a citizen’s arrest.
The Jefferson Star did receive a letter Feb. 10 from an individual identifying as K Hyde of Rigby. In the letter, Hyde wrote she has “two sons whom I love” and wrote there had been “criminal negligence” in her child protection case. She wrote that when her younger son had been taken she could not find an “eminent danger report or a court order giving the County authority to take my sons” and wrote there were other instances of negligence. Hyde did not make any threats in the letter, but said she feels “powerless” and wanted to “give others the voice to fight against the broken system."
When The Jefferson Star reached out to Hyde via the contact information provided in her letter to the editor, Hyde responded saying she is out-of-state and would be happy to produce evidence she has upon her return. She had not responded to a follow-up email requesting a phone interview as of 4:30 p.m. Feb. 13.
Wolfe said with his experience in law enforcement, he has learned to take people at face value and said the threat given to the FBI should be taken seriously. He said trespassing Hyde from the courthouse would help.
“I think based on the language that she is using and the results that she is likely to get from her request, that we should take some extra precautions to ensure that the innocent citizens and employees here at the courthouse are better protected.” Wolfe said.
Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Butikofer said he first saw the threats Feb. 11 and researched what the county could do to take precautions against the threats. He said he recommended commissioners trespass Hyde from the courthouse conditionally.
“The requirement is that she call dispatch, who records the conversation so we can verify whether she’s called in or not, that she is coming and for what reason, so that law enforcement can be aware of that so they can be preventative in making sure that she’s not coming with 50 or 60 armed guards,” Butikofer said.
According to a letter to Hyde approved by county commissioners, Hyde can access the courthouse in order to attend all hearings she is a party of; to make filings with the court; to make necessary vehicle registration arrangements, driver’s license renewals or payment of property taxes. If she has any other business at the courthouse, she must submit it in writing which can be mailed or emailed to the appropriate office. She can also attend in-person meetings if it is approved by the county officer conducting the meeting. If she will be coming to the courthouse for any of those reasons, she must call and schedule it with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch 30 minutes in advance.
The letter also notes “all firearms, weapons, and incendiary devices are banned from the courthouse and its extension.”