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Sublette County Reacts to Murder Verdict

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The seven-man, six-woman jury hearing the retrial of Troy Dean Willoughby, accused in the 1984 murder of Jackson Waitress Elizabeth Ehlers, found Willoughby not guilty after about five hours deliberation.  The retrial was ordered last August, vacating Willoughby’s January 29th, 2010 murder conviction after the new Sublette County Prosecuting Attorney, Neal Stelting, gave notice to the defense team of previously undisclosed evidence, which could have assisted in Willoughby’s defense.  Following the verdict, the Sublette County Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office issued a joint statement regarding the verdict reversal.  Quoting the release: “The Sublette County Attorney’s Office and the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office extend our condolences to the members of the Ehlers family for the closure they have lost, and the emotional difficulty they have experienced throughout the two criminal trials.” The statement goes on that the two agencies are currently evaluating the options available to bring accountability to those individuals who are alleged to have committed misconduct while engaged in the performance of their duties.  The statement adds that those individuals are no longer employed by the county.  Willoughby’s retrial lasted a total of two weeks. The original charges against Willoughby stemmed from the discovery of the body of 25-year-old Elizabeth Ehlers outside her car at a turnout on the southern end of Hoback Canyon, June 21st, 1984.  She had been shot in the head, chest and hand.

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