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Judge Denied Plea to Commit Man Who Fatally Shot Cop

Judge Denied Plea to Commit Man Who Fatally Shot Cop

Des Moines Register via YellowBrix

April 06, 2011

Sigourney, Ia. – Relatives tried in March to have committed the man who this week shot and killed a Keokuk County sheriff’s deputy, but a judge turned down the request.

Jeffrey Alan Krier, 53, struggled for three decades with mental illness, his family said in a statement released Tuesday.

“Jeff was a loving brother who struggled with mental illness for the past three decades,” Sam Krier and Debbie Krier, Jeffrey Krier’s brother and sister, said in a statement. “He was diagnosed as bipolar and had tremendous difficulty managing his illness.”

More of the events that led up to Iowa’s first fatal shooting of a law officer in 26 years emerged Tuesday, including disclosure that shots that were fired at Krier’s neighbor’s house Sunday night. The next day, Krier shot and killed Deputy Eric Stein.

Krier’s family said that he had spent seven days in hospitals early last month and that a court had rejected their request to have him committed to a mental institution.

“While Jeff’s mental illness may have contributed to the tragedy, it in no way provides comfort or solace to the many who have been impacted by his actions,” the siblings’ statement said. “While we do not understand what led to this tragic end, we do know the loss and grief caused by Jeff’s actions is immeasurable.”

On March 3, Krier was taken by Keokuk County deputies to the Keokuk County Health Center emergency room for an evaluation after he had been involved in an altercation, the family said. They did not give any details about the altercation.

The Sigourney hospital sent Krier to Iowa Lutheran Hospital in Des Moines, where he stayed for six days. He was transported there by Keokuk County sheriff’s deputies.

After the commitment request was denied, Krier was released. His brother and sister were not happy when they learned that their brother had been released from the hospital, the family said.

The health of the Kriers’ parents is failing, the family said. Until their mother, Roselyn Krier, became ill, she took care of Jeffrey.

Stein was shot as he and two other law enforcement officers approached Krier’s home. Authorities have said they were following up on an incident that happened Sunday.

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Jeffrey Krier (Submitted photo)

Officials have not publicly released details of that case, but Terry Steinhart, a neighbor of Krier’s, told The Des Moines Register that when he and his wife returned home from getting ice cream Sunday evening, they found two bullet holes in the windows of their house, muddy tire tracks in their front yard and a smashed garage door.

Steinhart, 63, said he called police and they conducted a preliminary investigation Sunday night.

When the county sheriff and two deputies returned about 8:30 a.m. Monday, it appeared Stein was leading the investigation, which lasted about an hour, Steinhart said.

Stein measured the tire tracks left in the Steinharts’ yard, found paint from the vehicle on their white garage door and determined the height of the vehicle.

The sheriff told Steinhart that they were looking for a small blue pickup, the type of vehicle Krier drove. The sheriff said he wanted to speak with Krier.

“The sheriff just said, ’We’re going to do more investigation,’ and they went that direction,” Steinhart said, pointing down a hill toward Krier’s home, about a mile away.

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