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Grand jury indicts man on murder charges

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IDAHO FALLS — A grand jury has indicted a man who is accused of shooting and killing another individual in March.

The grand jury determined on June 17, that there was sufficient probable cause to charge Jake Eilander, 37, with second-degree murder for the death of 44-year-old Ulises Rangel.

Eilander will now face trial in a district court, eliminating the need for the previously set preliminary hearing that was scheduled for July 6.

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According to Bonneville County Prosecutor Alayne Bean, “The indictment (by the grand jury) essentially replaces the previous criminal complaint and (the original case) will now be dismissed.”

Normally, prosecutors who are working on a criminal case will file charges against the defendant, and then try to establish probable cause for those charges at the preliminary hearing. But by using a grand jury, the defense is not entitled to a preliminary hearing or the right to speak at or attend the proceeding. The hearings are also closed to the public.

With the use of a grand jury, which consists of 16 members in Idaho, the prosecutor will present the evidence, and the jury can deliberate and indict the defendant if the majority (12 or more) believe that there is probable cause.

Bean declined to say why she chose to use a grand jury in this case instead of using a preliminary hearing.

RELATED | Man charged with second-degree murder after body found behind local gym

The investigation into Eilander started after a man, identified as Rangel, was found shot to death behind Planet Fitness in Idaho Falls in late March.

Police were later able to obtain video footage that showed an altercation between Rangel and Eilander.

Eilander was later found at an Idaho Falls residence, where officers also found a loaded handgun with ammunition consistent with evidence found back at the scene.

He was arrested and booked into the Bonneville County Jail.

The defendant’s bond was set at $350,000 after Magistrate Judge Michelle Mallard mentioned during a court hearing that Eilander has two other felonies on his record from within the past two years.

Eilander was charged with felony drug charges in August 2021 and March 2020. He was also arrested and charged with felony arson in September in Jefferson County, but Prosecuting Attorney Mark Taylor dropped the charge.

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