JEFFERSON-The district attorney tasked with investigating the officer involved shooting of 62-year-old Dallas Shatley that happened nearly a year ago said this week his office is moving into the final stages of its investigation.
Within the next 30 to 45 days, District Attorney Garry Frank said he will be able to say with certainty whether or not criminal charges will be coming as a result of the July 8, 2015 shooting. Frank said he is also holding off on releasing the body camera footage until his investigation is complete.
“We are trying to push it along,” said Frank of the case.
Shatley was shot by Ashe County Sheriff’s Office deputies on July 8, 2015, after he allegedly confronted the officers who were responding to a disturbance. The incident was reported around 10 p.m. in Crumpler on Shatley Road, just off of Highway 16.
According to previous statements by Ashe County Sheriff James Williams, a deputy was dragged by a vehicle driven by Shatley and shots were fired.
The ACSO said later that Deputies Christopher Roten, Joshua Hopkins and Brandon Miller had been involved in the incident, but the agency declined to say which of the deputies had allegedly been dragged prior to the shooting. The three deputies were placed on administrative leave, but were reinstated the week of Aug. 17.
Frank is still relatively new to the case. In fact, the shooting wasn’t even his jurisdiction until the local DA’S office, which is headed by Tom Horner, cited a personal relationship with the Shatley family in the case and let Frank’s office in Davidson County take over the reins.
Since April, Frank said his office has conducted initial interviews in the case and requested lab work. He declined to comment who he has interviewed and what that lab work might consist of.
“A lot is outside of our control with regards to the information we requested and not received,” he said.
While the DA’s office can not reveal details of the case – out of fear of compromising its investigation – an autopsy and toxicology report released earlier this year has shed more light on Shatley’s final moments and the events leading up to his death.
A postmortem toxilogic analysis of Shatley detected elevated levels of ethanol – 150 mg/dl – in tissue taken from Shatley’s eye. That information comes from reports delivered to the Jefferson Post from the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Ethanol is the active agent in beer, wine, vodka, whiskey, rum and other liquors. Ethanol is the single most important substance of abuse in the United States, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The state’s autopsy reports reveal that Shatley was shot in the right and left upper parts of the chest. These shots caused injuries to the lungs, stomach and spleen.