Ex-Idaho sheriff charged with threatening religious group pleads guilty to aggravated assault

Former Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland, left, appears in district court March 31 with his attorney Justin Oleson. Rowland has now reached a plea agreement with the prosecution team. (Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com)

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BLACKFOOT, Idaho — The former Bingham County sheriff has reached a plea deal with the prosecution team.

Craig Thomas Rowland pleaded guilty to a felony charge of aggravated assault, court records show.

Rowland was charged with felonies of aggravated assault and battery and misdemeanor exposing a weapon in November after threatening a car full of teenagers with a gun.

The sheriff at the time pointed a gun at a vehicle containing seven girls and their church group leader in response to the girls who put a “grateful turkey” on its front door.

Rowland offered his resignation in July. On August 15, Deputy Chief Jeff Gardner was appointed acting sheriff.

A jury trial to decide the case was due to begin on October 24. Instead, Rowland is now set to be sentenced on October 25.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for aggravated assault.

Battery condition and exposure charges are unknown. EastIdahoNews.com will provide further details of the plea agreement as they become available.

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