Sweetwater County’s top prosecutor determined Wednesday that a sheriff’s lieutenant who shot and killed a Park County man last August acted justifiably under Wyoming law.
Park County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Hartman shot local resident Jack McGlothlin twice in the chest between Powell and Cody on Aug. 30 after McGlothlin approached Hartman with a shotgun and the pair wrestled over the weapon, according to a case summary dispatched Wednesday by Sweetwater County Attorney Dan Erramouspe.
“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,” wrote Erramouspe.
The Park County Commission on Feb. 7 chose Erramouspe as an outside prosecutor to determine whether the shooting was justified.
The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) conducted the official investigation and handed its evidentiary findings to Erramouspe.
Hartman had confronted McGlothlin about an active warrant for his arrest on a dam road between Powell and Cody, Wyoming.
“You’re Mark Hartman,” was McGlothlin’s approximate response, according to Hartman’s initial statement to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). “You’re not taking me to jail.”
McGlothlin “double-handed,” or shoved Hartman in the chest, then took off in his own vehicle. Hartman pursued in his patrol truck down the canal road.
McGlothlin stopped, got out of his vehicle and charged Hartman with a shotgun, according to the latter’s interview and statements to other sheriff’s agents.
Hartman got out of his own patrol vehicle, went to the back of it and retrieved his rifle. The two men wrestled and Hartman wrenched the shotgun away from McGlothlin, according to a statement in the summary.
‘Jack, I Don’t Want To Kill You’
McGlothlin tried to wrest the rifle from Hartman’s hands, but Hartman kept one of his hands on the rifle while drawing his .40-caliber pistol with the other.
“Jack, I don’t want to kill you,” Hartman said, according to his interview.
“(You’re) going to have to,” McGlothin reportedly answered.
But Hartman did not give more details to DCI after that, the summary says.
Investigators found both men’s DNA on Hartman’s rifle and McGlothlin’s shotgun.
They also found McGlothlin’s DNA on Hartman’s neck, corroborating Hartman’s account of their wrestling match.
Hartman voiced his struggles over his radio and then lapsed into silence.
Park County Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Patterson and Undersheriff Andy Varian both heard Hartman confirming McGlothlin’s warrant over the dispatch radio.
Patterson cancelled a VIN inspection to get to his colleague.
Varian also stopped what he was doing to drive to Hartman, because McGlothlin “was known to have firearms on his person or near him,” the summary says. Varian thought he heard Hartman say “help” over the radio. He also heard Hartman say that McGlothlin was pointing a gun at him.
“Shots fired,” Hartman told dispatch, breathing heavily into the radio.
Varian arrived to find Hartman conducting CPR on McGlothlin. Hartman also had placed a chest seal on the man.
Hartman said he wasn’t hurt, but Varian noticed scratches on the back of one hand and discoloration on Hartman’s neck.
Hartman said his neck was bothering him, the summary relates from Varian’s interview.
Hartman told Varian that McGlothlin came at him, and he wrenched McGlothlin’s gun away, but then McGlothin came for his rifle.
Patterson showed up next, finding Hartman standing about 20 feet away from McGlothlin’s body.
Hartman told Patterson that McGlothlin charged him with the shotgun and choked him, the summary relates.
Patterson noticed redness on Hartman’s neck.
Wyoming DCI Special Agent Jonathan Shane Reece arrived on scene, finding McGlothlin’s body lying partly on the canal road, on his back with his head facing west.
McGlothlin had at least one gunshot wound to the upper center of his chest and a chest seal on the wound. Agents found two shell casings near the body. They believed both shells were from Hartman’s .40-caliber pistol.
They also found three lithium batteries and the backing for a weapon-mounted light.
South of the body Reece saw Hartman’s patrol truck, facing south on the canal road. A 12-gauge shot gun lay near the truck; next to the shotgun lay a weapon sleeve containing five extra rounds of 12-gauge ammunition, says the summary.
Reece saw scuffs and disturbances in the sand and gravel of the canal road.
Dr. Thomas Bennett, forensic pathologist, examined McGlothlin’s body Sept. 4. He said the probable cause of death was two gunshot wounds to the mid chest, both close-range.
No Dash Cam, No Body Cam
Hartman didn’t have a dash cam on his truck or a body cam on his person, the summary says.
“Since these tools were not present, and Lt. Hartman did not agree to sit for a more formal interview regarding the incident,” wrote Erramouspe in his summary, “this conclusion is based solely on the statements made by Lt. Hartman to other law enforcement on the scene, the scene itself, statements of overheard radio traffic and evidence collected.”
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.