COEUR d’ALENE — Two men who were passengers in a car when the driver was shot and killed by police last week were released from jail Friday on their own recognizance.
First District Magistrate Judge Anna Eckhart, in a morning hearing, ordered the release of Eli W. Darby, 24, of Post Falls and Trent D. Szafransky, 23, of Rathdrum. The two were arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine, a felony, and for misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.
They were being held in the Kootenai County Jail on a $15,000 bond.
Darby and Szafransky were in a black Volkswagen Jetta driven by Curtis B. Ware, 34, a three-time felon awaiting sentencing on drug charges, which was stopped by police around 6:45 p.m., Feb. 27 near Ironwood Plaza in Coeur d’Alene.
Ware allegedly drew a handgun when Coeur d’Alene police attempted to arrest him for an outstanding warrant and began firing at officers. He was shot multiple times by police and killed. One officer, Charles Hatley, was shot through his gun belt and struck in the abdomen. He has since been released from the hospital.
Darby and Szafransky both waived their speedy trial rights, and their right to have a preliminary hearing within 14 days of their arrest.
Darby waived his preliminary hearing and his case was bound over to district court.
Darby’s attorney, Michael Palmer, said his client’s criminal record is comprised of two petit thefts and a minor in possession charge. Palmer said that Darby, a Lakeland High School graduate, has immediate family, including his mother and siblings, as well as his two children ages 1 and 5 years old living in North Idaho.
“The risk of him taking flight and not returning are fairly low,” Palmer said.
Kootenai County Public Defender Anne Taylor, who represents Szafransky, told Eckart she is waiting to see several police interviews conducted after the Feb. 27 incident.
“We don’t have access to those yet,” Taylor said. “We need those reports.”
Her client still requested a preliminary hearing, she told the court.
As conditions of their release — which was agreed to by prosecutors — Eckhart ordered both men to be drug tested six times a month while they are out of jail. Eckhart said she would set a preliminary hearing for Szafransky within 30 days.