A former West Valley City, Utah, police detective has been charged with manslaughter in the 2012 shooting death of Daneille Willard.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced the manslaughter charge against Shaun Cowley, accused of shooting and killing 21-year-old Danielle Willard back in 2012, Fox 13 reports.
According to affidavits, West Valley City Police said they saw Danielle Willard go to a home to buy drugs. Police didn’t immediately arrest anyone but followed Willard to the Lexington Park apartments about a block away.
The warrant states Detective Kevin Salmon and former Det. Cowley got out of an unmarked car and approached Willard.
The warrants do not state whether the detectives identified themselves as police officers.
However, Cowley’s lawyer, Lindsay Jarvis, said they repeatedly identified themselves as police and when Danielle Willard tried to drive off, she hit former Det. Cowley. That’s when Cowley and his partner reportedly opened fire. Cowley’s partner Det. Kevin Salmon was not charged. Authorities have determined Cowley fired the fatal shot.
If convicted, Cowley could face one to 15 years in prison. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Thursday afternoon and released on $10,000 bail.
The DA had previously ruled that the shooting was not justified.