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Manalughter Charges Against A Former West Valley Police Officer Are Dismissed

Salt Lake Tribune Photo Pool

A  3rd District Court judge dismissed charges Thursday against former West Valley City police officer Shaun Cowley in the 2012 fatal shooting of 21-year-old Danielle Willard during a drug investigation.  Cowley and his partner Detective Kevin Salmon were working undercover and stopped Willard whom they believed had just purchased drugs. Willard put her car in reverse attempting to flee the scene and Cowley fired rounds at the car fearing he would be run over. But the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office claimed that Cowley was not in danger and acted recklessly. He was charged with manslaughter.  Jude L.A. Dever said prosecutors did not present enough evidence to bring the case to trial and the charges were dismissed.  Just after Dever’s ruling, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill released a statement indicating he would not challenge the ruling, but that filed that his office filed the criminal charges they believe were appropriate.  Cowley was fired from his position as a narcotics detective year following an internal investigation.  

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