Sweetwater County Attorney Determines Park County Sheriff Lieutenant’s Deadly Force Justified
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 7, 2023
An investigation into an officer-involved shooting that occurred between Cody and Powell in August 2022 has concluded with an official report from the Sweetwater County Prosecuting Attorney. After reviewing the evidence provided, it was determined that Park County Sheriff Lieutenant Mark Hartman’s use of deadly force – which resulted in the death of Jack McGlothlin – was justified.
Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric released the indepedent review findings of Sweetwater County Attorney Daniel Erramouspe on Wednesday, June 7. Skoric and the Park Cointy Commissioners referred the case to Erramouspe as a “Special Prosecutor” in February to avoid a conflict of interest.
According to Erramoupse review, Lieutenant Hartman pulled McGlothlin over on Aug. 30, 2022, because there was an active warrant for his arrest. During the stop, McGlothlin allegedly said “you’re Mark Hartman. You’re not taking me to jail,” before “double-handing” Hartman and taking off in his vehicle.
After a brief pursuit, McGlothlin exited his vehicle with a shotgun, aiming it at Lt.Hartman. There was a brief skirmish where McGlothlin attempted to wrestle Hartman’s rifle away from him, and at one point started choking him.
Other responding law enforcement officers corrobarated Lt. Hartman’s account based on the evidence at the scene and “discoloration” and “redness” on his neck. Later DNA analysis showed McGlothlin’s DNA on the patrol rifle and Lt. Hartman’s collar and neck area.
In a statement after the incident, Lt. Hartman “recalled telling McGlothlin ‘Jack, I don’t want to kill you.'” to which McGlothlin responded “you’re going to have to.”
During the scuffle, Lt. Hartman was able to draw his forty caliber duty pistol and shot McGlothlin. An autopsy showed McGlothlin died from two gunshot wounds to the mid-chest fired at close range.
Sweetwater County Attorney Erramouspe submitted his “thorough review of the facts and evidence” on June 6, 2023.
Erramouspe reviewed “statements made by Lt. Hartman to other law enforcement on the scene, the scene itself, statements of overheard radio traffic, and evidence collected” at the scene by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation. Although Lt. Hartman never sat down for a formal interview after the Aug. 30 incident, the on-the-scene accounts from Hartman and other responding officers were consistent with the evidence presented.
Additional statements came from W.D.C.I. Special Agent Jon Briggs, Park County Sheriff Deputy Tyler Patterson, and Under Sheriff Andy Varian.
Erramoupse noted that many specific details on the case could’ve been answered by dash cam and body camera footage. Although such technology is becoming commonplace in many law enforcement agencies, Lt. Hartman was equipped with neither at the time.
Erramouspe also stated, “at no time in McGlothlin’s approach to Lt. Hartman’s position, did Lt. Hartman use deadly force, or force of any kind for that matter, despite being rightfully able to do so.”
In conclusion, Sweetwater County Attorney Erramouspe found that Lt. Hartman used deadly but not unecessary force in the Aug. 30, 2022 incident.
“After completing a thorough review of the facts and evidence, I have determined the use of deadly force by Park County Sheriff Lieutenant, Mark Hartman, against Jack McGlothlin was justified,” he stated.