RUPERT, Idaho — A 31-year-old farm worker was flown by LifeFlight to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello after a coworker allegedly shot him Tuesday afternoon in a Paul potato field, police said.
The Rupert Police Department and Minidoka County Sheriff’s Office responded to the field at 700 North, 1050 West at 2:15 p.m. and found Encornacion Duarte-Jebalera, 31, lying beside a tractor with a gunshot wound.
Police arrested Rogelio Munoz Chavez, 36, of Paul, on charges of aggravated battery with a weapons enhancement in connection with the shooting. They found him hiding in sage brush a half mile from where he’d apparently abandoned his work vehicle at 375 West, 320 North in Rupert, according to the Minidoka County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Eric Snarr said police were interviewing Duarte-Jebalera Wednesday afternoon to get the victim’s side of the story. Snarr had no information to release about a possible motive or Duarte-Jebalera’s condition.
Chavez was arraigned Wednesday afternoon by a Twin Falls County judge due to the lack of availability of a local judge. His bond was set at $50,000, and his case was scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 16 in Minidoka County court.