Dog Helps Kill Bounty Hunting Bill In Idaho

BOISE — One year after a man was shot to death by bounty hunters in eastern Idaho, a state bill was introduced in this legislative session that would have created regulations for bail enforcement agents. But after passing the House, 57-13, and passing the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee, the bill failed to make it to the Senate floor vote, in part due to the efforts of the reality TV star known as “Dog the Bounty Hunter.” The proposed legislation was brought forward after Patricia Holt, of Rigby, wrote to legislators asking for new regulations around bail enforcement agent behavior. Holt’s son, Philip Clay, was shot to death in Ammon last year when bounty hunters were pursuing him after a warrant was issued for his arrest in Ada County. Clay, 58, of Nampa, had failed to appear for a court hearing. None of the bail enforcement agents was charged in the incident. Among other things, House Bill 508 would have had several stipulations, including: n Bail enforcement agents would have to wear clothing identifying them as bail enforcement agents during forced entry of a building. n It would have prevented convicted felons from being bail enforcement agents. n It would have required agents to have an enhanced license to carry a concealed weapon. n Agents would have been forbidden from using a false name upon introduction. n It would have prohibited bounty hunters from introducing themselves as an employee of any federal, state or local government. n Bail enforcement agents would have to be at least 21 years old. n They would be banned from wearing any kind of badge. Civil and criminal penalties also could be enforced if agents violated the proposed requirements. Rep. Richard Wills, R-Glenns Ferry, said one of the reasons the bill did not make it to a vote in the Senate was because of lobbyists’ efforts and calls by Duane Chapman, better known as “Dog The Bounty Hunter.” Wills chairs the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee and pitched the bill.