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Attempted murder charge dropped in motel kidnaping case

Crime Watch

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Shawn Petersesn | Bingham County Jail

BLACKFOOT — Attempted murder charges have been taken off the table for the manager of a Blackfoot Hotel.

During a preliminary hearing Thursday, Shawn Petersen, 50, appeared before Magistrate Judge James Barrett. He was originally charged with attempted second-degree murder for trying to coerce the victim into killing his brother. He also faced charges of felony assault with intent to murder, grand theft, possession of marijuana, aggravated assault and misdemeanor battery.

After hearing testimony from witnesses Thursday, the attempted murder charge was dropped and the felony assault charge with intent to murder was amended to felony aggravated assault.

Prosecutors also added an additional charge of unlawful possession of a firearm, according to Bingham County Prosecutor Paul Rogers.

Detectives reports indicate that on June 11, Petersen and at least two other men, Shawn A. Cochran, 30, and Corey J. Hall, 45, attacked a man at the Y Motel while reportedly threatening him if he did not kill his own brother. Petersen believed the victim’s brother had spread rumors about him being a drug dealer.

RELATED | Motel manager charged after allegedly threatening man with his life to kill brother

“Shawn (Petersen) stated specifically that he would kill (the victim), place him in a tub of acid, cut out his organs and sell his organs on the black market for thousands of dollars,” court documents read.

The three men are accused of beating the victim, causing a 3-inch gash and swelling over his eye that sent him to Bingham Memorial Hospital.

During a search warrant of the motel, police discovered a large red duffel bag holding almost 2 pounds of marijuana and an ATV stolen from Aberdeen.

Cochran is charged with felony second-degree kidnapping, aggravated battery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Hall is charged with felony second-degree kidnapping and aggravated assault.

A district court arraignment for Petersen is scheduled for July 20 where he will enter a plea.

A judge ordered Cochran to undergo a competency evaluation and Hall has a preliminary hearing scheduled for July 2.