District Attorney Craig Ladd said he is declining charges in the Jan. 25 slaying of Jeremy Kildow.
"The investigative report submitted by the Carter County Sheriff's Department indicates that the decedent, Jeremy Kildow, died as a result of stab wounds he sustained on or about January 25, 2013, at the hands of his brother (Chance Jacobs, 23). The investigation further revealed that, at the time of the stabbing, Mr. Kildow was in the process of physically threatening and assaulting at least four family members, including his brother, in a confined area. Considering the circumstances during the time period in question in conjunction with prior behaviors of Mr. Kildow, the actions of his brother appear to have been a reasonable effort to defend himself as well as other family members," Ladd said Friday. "The incident is tragic, and this family is dealing with a tremendous amount of sorrow. Nevertheless, I do not believe that the filing of criminal charges is warranted based upon the information known to me at this time."
Kildow's body was discovered lying in a field near the intersection of State Highway 53 and Butler Road near Springer about 2 p.m. Jan. 26. The Carter County Sheriff's Department responded to the location. At the time Sheriff Ken Grace said deputies had responded to a report of a domestic disturbance about 14 hours earlier at a trailer located near the field. The mobile home was occupied by several members of Kildow's family. Grace said Kildow had left the residence before deputies arrived.
The sheriff said it appeared the 27-year-old victim had walked out of the residence and into the field before dying of "what appeared to be multiple stab wounds." Grace said, 'He was found about 75 to 100-yards away (from the residence)."
His body was sent to the state Medical Examiner's Office for autopsy and an official cause of death determination.
CCSD Criminal Investigator Rick Batt was assigned to lead the investigation, which included what was described as "a number of persons of interest."
Just days later the sheriff confirmed Jacobs had confessed to stabbing his brother, but he said evidence surrounding the altercation indicated, "it could be the result of self defense." Jacobs was not arrested at the time nor detained. The sheriff said Jan. 29 all reports concerning Kildow's death were being forwarded to Ladd for review.
Friday Grace said his department was "fortunate" to have a person with Batt's abilities.
"Rick has unique capabilities that far exceed the norm. In cases, like this one, involving a tragic set of circumstances he is able to be empathic while still maintaining his professionalism. As a result Rick is able to gather a thorough and complete set of facts quickly and efficiently. Rick also is able to work hand in hand with the district attorney and his staff in order to secure whatever additional information and or evidence they may need to make prosecutorial decisions," Grace said.
"We are also very appreciative of the district attorney and his staff for their willingness to work as a team with the sheriff's office."