Wilbur passes away following Sept. 1 altercation

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Chase Foote

Authorities await autopsy results, Foote could face new charges

Jefferson Wilbur, who has been in a Sioux Falls hospital since he was discovered unresponsive with serious head injuries in an alley in the 200 block of Grand Avenue Sept. 1, passed away Sunday.

Chase Foote, 22, of Spencer, was charged with willful injury, a class C felony, for his alleged role in an altercation with Wilbur. He now awaits a decision from the Clay County Attorney's office regarding any change in the charges.

A release from the Spencer Police Department indicated their agency and the county attorney are "awaiting autopsy results as the case is still ongoing."

On Monday, Sept. 24, Foote entered a plea of not guilty and demanded his right to a speedy trial in a written arraignment. He posted bond on the original charge and was released from Clay County Jail in October.

Public defender J.P. Greer, on Sept. 21, in a motion to reduce Foote's bond from the initial amount of $25,000, wrote: "According to the statement contained in the minutes of testimony, Jefferson Wilbur (the alleged victim) physically confronted Foote by pushing him in the chest and Foote told him not to touch him and Foote was walking away, but Wilbur pursued him. There is little, if any, evidence of intent to cause serious injury."

There are now three scheduled Clay County trials associated with a pair of independent assault allegations for incidents that resulted in the death of two men within a one-week period of time.

Chris Fitzpatrick and Cody Millard -- both of Spencer -- each face first degree murder charges for their alleged participation in a Aug. 28 assault on 59-year-old Edward Kitto, just four days prior to the Foote and Wilbur altercation.

All have entered not guilty pleas in their respective cases.

Attempts to reach Clay County Attorney Mike Houchins for comment were unsuccessful, as he was in court.

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  • I am very sorry to hear that this gentleman passed. May his family find peace.

    -- Posted by acerdj on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 5:19 AM
  • Very sad...thoughts and prayers to all affected.

    -- Posted by windchimes3 on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 6:12 AM
  • how convenient that chase gets to voice his side of the story but the man he beat was never able to voice his side as that ability was taken from him. Was there nobody else that could call the police in the case that this was an altercation? could he not have been the bigger person and simply walked away or called the police if this is indeed his side of the story? if someone pushes you does that justify beating them so badly that they never recover? From what I have read in the articles about this case so far chase didn't have an injuries?! So I ask why was such excessive force necessary from him? All 3 of the incidences above obviously really strike a cord with me. 2 men have lost their lives and their families will forever have to live with that because of poor decisions that should not have been made. I would find it a huge injustice if Chase doesn't get additional charges and yet the other 2 men involved in the other case have been and have been in jail this ENTIRE time, while Chase had the ability to be released. I am aware that Jeff was in the hospital longer than Mr. Kito but they essentially did the same crime, why not doing the same time?

    -- Posted by AshlyMeyer on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 5:45 PM
  • "There is little, if any, evidence of intent to cause serious injury."

    An honest question, If you don't intend to seriously injure someone, but end up doing so, does that make you less responsible somehow? Or is that added just for deciding on what to charge him with? A drunk driver doesn't mean to kill people either, but sometimes they do, and they are held accountable for that. Just saying. I also find it hard to believe that say myself and someone else get into a fight, they have very little if any injuries at all and I'm beaten to the point of NEVER coming home from a hospital how that is not way overboard on excessive force needed to protect themselves. Obviously this case and Mr. Kito's are different but yet have some similarities. To me in both cases there was NO NEED for the situations to esculate to anywhere near what happened. There is ALWAYS other options. These are the options that these young men chose, decisions that ended lives, and changed the lives of those men's families forever. Because someone called you a name? or pushed you? etc. Neither of the men that lost their lives were armed, I can't in my own mind see where anyone would feel it necessary to beat these men like this. Older men vs. younger fit men, am I really supposed to believe the younger, more fit, more capable men really feared their lives were in danger from older unarmed men? Just my view on all of it. Done with my ranting.....for now anyway. lol

    -- Posted by AshlyMeyer on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 5:57 PM
  • It's as simple as "DON'T DO THE CRIME IF YOU CAN'T DO THE TIME." I agree with the rest of the people commenting on beating someone just because you were pushed. Obviously you are not the bigger of the men there that night because you couldn't just walk away but instead beat the life out of this individual.NO EXCUSE for doing what you did... Chase. So your life is now wasted because of the choices you made that night. SAD...SAD...SAD Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, not a rule you follow obviously

    -- Posted by ljv on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 7:01 PM
  • "There is little, if any, evidence of intent to cause serious injury."

    Ok, let's lay this out in the most honest terms I can without truly trying to upset anyone. I've been in fights before. I've seen countless fights over the years, but never...and I mean NEVER have I seen a fight where either person didn't have INTENT to cause serious injury to the other for one reason or another. If you are engaging in the fight, your intent is to cause injury to the other person. If you don't have that intent, then you would have run away. So if Wilbur initiated the confrontation, and Foote walked away, Wilbur starts as the aggressor. BUT, there was a turning point somewhere where Foote became the aggressor, or else he would have just kept walking away. Other than a push...there is no more physical interaction mentioned. I would assume if there was more interaction, it would have been mentioned because it would have solidified Foote's story. I guess what I'm trying to say is that just because he tried to walk away at first doesn't make what he did any less severe than any other cases recently, and for his attorney to try and use a bush league statement like that is pretty ridiculous. One thing I was taught a long time ago is that no matter who you are, there will always be someone either, bigger, stronger, faster, meaner, or smarter than you, and that karma will ALWAYS catch up with you. Hopefully karma takes the form of this kid getting punished to the correct extent of the law, because this is more than just some random fight. A person is dead. Just as in the previous incident, a person is dead. Not a black eye, not a busted lip or fractured bone....dead. I wonder if he even comprehends the extremity of the word "dead". Whant to know the recovery time from death....ZERO. Someone's father, brother, or son is gone because some kid though he was "badass".

    -- Posted by lastsonofoa on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 7:34 PM
  • Im guessing by the location and time, that alcohol and a certain establishment was involved in this altercation. My thoughts are with Jeffs family.

    -- Posted by brian48 on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 4:51 AM
  • Brian48- that very well could be a fairly true assumption. But even if Chase was under the influence of alcohol does that excuse his actions? or lessen them in any way? cuz I know they don't in the instance of drunk drivers killing someone.

    lastsonofoa- I agree 100%. At some point Chase had a few options, and he chose this one. and I like how you put in the example of if you are fighting you have to have some kind of intent to cause harm. I never thought of putting it like that but that is a perfect example and description! All this is so senseless. In the case of Mr. Kito from my understand all he did was use a racial slur. I'm in no way saying using that language is appropriate or anything. Im of mixed race myself and have mixed kids, but NOBODY in my family is going to beat someone to death because of someone saying such a thing. A group of young men doing whatever they want without thinking of the consequences and thinking they won't have to face any consequences and can just place all the responsibility on the men that they took the lives of, that will never be able to tell their side of the story.

    -- Posted by AshlyMeyer on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 9:58 AM
  • This is specifaically why every state in the union has a law on the books stating the illegality of serving an intoxicated person.

    Maybe Mr. Wilber's family will finally be able to get this tavern shut down and hold the proprietors co-responcible.

    -- Posted by Doctlby on Thu, Nov 22, 2012, at 5:48 PM
  • no offense, but do we know this kid did this because he was drunk? or did he do this just because he just simply plain made the decision to do it? I've been a driver and out at bars at these times of night more times than i can count. Do we know we can blame alcohol and the place serving it? or is this just a typical reaction from this person? just an honest question. I'm not sure that I have read anywhere in any articles anything about chase being intoxicated, I just assumed but have no facts to support that assumption.

    -- Posted by AshlyMeyer on Thu, Nov 22, 2012, at 8:42 PM
  • AshleyMeyer you really need to get a job or something. You seem to have an opinion about most articles on this site...

    -- Posted by AmericanDreamChasers on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 7:40 AM
  • AshlyMeyer, you are quite the know-it-all. Get a life.

    -- Posted by carrae on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 3:44 PM
  • Anyone knows that if your a bartender and a fight happens while your working you break it up. you don't just watch. and if you do nothing when you should call 911 well eventually you have to take your responsibility in what happens. the bar has its own reputation Respect isn't in their vocabulary Just this year i have heard of a bartender in the Grand Tap being bitten and at least 5 other occasions when 911 was called. I think responsibility belongs with Chase but in this case the bar and the bartender deserve some of the blame for not doing anything. And my friend Jeff R.I.P.

    -- Posted by cinderella#1 on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 5:23 PM
  • BONDED OUT???!!!! REALLY??!! "STRONG FAMILY TIES"?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Yeah, strong family ties into the drug community there!! ALWAYS has been, ALWAYS will be. Just shows ppl like me that vacated the area YEARS ago due to the drugs and CORRUPT officials leading that community---that NOTHING HAS CHANGED THERE!!! Krukow on the job? LMAO!! He was corrupt back then and from what I hear, he remains so to this day. A Foote family friend, no less. Will Jeff EVER get the JUSTICE he and his family DESERVE???? I DOUBT IT.


    O WAIT!! I KNOW! I KNOW!! Bonded out so he can use his "close family ties" to FLEE THE AREA!!! There we go---now THAT makes sense. :(

    P.S.....anyone else found ALL THE OTHER TIMES Chase Foote is in the "Sirens" section??? From not taking care of his dogs to under-age parties....um, yeah----GET A CLUE!!!!!


    -- Posted by forjeff on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 9:18 AM
  • According to the story this was the Spencer Police Department, so Krukow is literally not on the job.

    Mr. Foote will have his day in court and will be judged by a jury of his peers.

    -- Posted by Sony on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 10:19 AM
  • @Sony...yeah, IF they can get him into court and IF the jury isn't threatened!!!

    And as far as the SPD....WHERE DO YOU THINK KRUKOW ORGINATED HIS CAREER AT??? Yep, he was SPD to BEGIN with!! lmao

    -- Posted by forjeff on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 12:46 PM
  • I'm glad you all read all my opinions on the articles I comment on! You must invest just as much time as I do if you have the same amount of time in reading the comments I write. I do have a job, and I most certainly have a clue. Sorry that you can't seem to handle that. And last I checked there wasn't a limit on how much a person could or couldn't comment on these sites. Or is it that you want whoever doesn't agree with your view point to be quiet? Either way makes no difference to me. You can go and read an article like this where a life was taken from someone, from a family and the only thing you are thinking about is my opinions? you my friends might need to do some reevaluating.

    -- Posted by AshlyMeyer on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 1:57 PM
  • So...because Krukow once worked for SPD he now influences their cases...got it.

    It's hard to argue with speculation and conjecture.

    -- Posted by Sony on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 1:58 PM
  • After checking the Iowa online court records, Foote does have a list a mile long for just 22,

    -- Posted by clayfarmer on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 2:13 PM
  • It is not up to the Spencer Police or any other law enforcement agency when someone bonds out. IT IS UP TO THE COURT SYSTEM!!! blame them and the attorneys.

    -- Posted by olmanhawk on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 3:48 PM
  • @olmanhawk...well YEAH--it's the court system that bonds them out, I was NOT saying that.

    @Sony...guess you haven't lived there long enough to KNOW....OR....you are one of those that are also "in pocket".

    @clayfarmer...YEP!! Sure does!

    MOST of them you can actually find here, within the Reporter, if one actually WANTS to check.

    -- Posted by forjeff on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 7:12 PM
  • yesterday if I counted right online there were 49 posted case files. there were multiple for assault and multiple for either possession of alcohol, distributing alcohol, or public intox. Seems he should have receieved help a long time ago and maybe Jeff would be here with his family now..... Regardless he made his decision that night....

    -- Posted by AshlyMeyer on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 9:19 AM
  • Ashly What website are you looking at? The only one that I know of is www.iowacourts.state.ia and they do not list what the offenses are. They only show the case type abbreviations. Just curious were to find the information as to the specific offenses that you listed.

    -- Posted by deweyh on Wed, Nov 28, 2012, at 7:18 PM
  • There's a tab on the upper right hand of the page that says Criminal Charges/Disposition. After clicking the link it will bring you to a page where the charge in question is described. It's the same website. I actually just clicked on headers until I found the right one.

    -- Posted by lastsonofoa on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 9:24 AM
  • Thanks

    -- Posted by deweyh on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 9:40 AM
  • So then, Mr. Foote has a reputation that precedes his entrance into any bar. Again I contend that the owners are somewhat responcible and should be held accountable as they knew what he was capable of and of his past criminal acts.

    It hasn't been published as proven YET but any fight that takes place in the alley right behind a bar is a clear indication that the subjects were previously in the establishment. Not too hard to deduce that one as I'm sure any jury would agree.

    There ought to be an ordinance whereas any establishment that has 3 incidents, where criminal activity is proven, lose their liquer licence. No ifs, ands, or buts.

    -- Posted by Doctlby on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 3:47 PM
  • Was there a release of information where it stated where this incident took place? I haven't seen anything but I'm not claiming anything either way other than I don't honestly know.

    -- Posted by lastsonofoa on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 6:02 PM
  • All I see is the alley of the 200 block of Grand Ave. Couldn't that reasonably mean any business that that has access to said alley, or do we know for a fact that they were indeed in a bar?

    -- Posted by lastsonofoa on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 6:05 PM
  • deweyh- i look on that same site. if you click each case number you can then click on the criminal charges tab and it will tell you the charges, when it occured, and if the charges were dismissed or if they plead guilty or not guilty.

    -- Posted by AshlyMeyer on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 7:14 PM
  • Doctlby- I get what you are saying I really do. And I agree that it isn't difficult to conclude that something started in the bar and carried on outside, BUT we yet to have proof of that, at least not beyound reasonable doubt. I was never aware of Chase's background, which leads me to believe that maybe the bar wasn't either? And just curious if you think the bars then should hire security to watch what is going on outside their establishments or how they should go about keeping an eye on what people do outside. Not being a smartass, I'm truly curious.

    -- Posted by AshlyMeyer on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 7:17 PM
  • @AshleyMeyer

    If a 3 strikes mandate was put in place, and the bars were in fear of losing their licences, these incidents would be, for the most part, virtually nonexistant.

    -- Posted by Doctlby on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 1:08 PM
  • It's not reposnsibility of an establishment to police what happens "outside" of the establishemnt, the only time anything like this would actually be relevant is in a case of third party liability where a bar served someone too much alcohol "knowing" they were going to get behind the wheel of a car. You can't make a mandate punishing a business for actions to which they have nothing to do with, and before you try to say "well if they wouldn't have been drinking, none of this would have happened", think first before you take that stance. Sober people can get into fights and disagreements can flourish in places that don't serve alcohol.As long as the bar isn't serving underage people, then there is an implied level of responsibility and the assumption of risk assumed by the patron. You can talk all day about how this is the bar's fault, but in actuality it isn't, or at the very least we can't assume so. That bar is responsible for things that happen inside its doors. In any bar I have EVER been to, if a fight breaks out inside the bar, the people get kicked out or told to take it outside...why you ask? Because they have no legal responsibility for what happens outside unless you can prove thrid person liability, which fighting doesn't fall under. At some point in time you have to start placing the blame on where it belongs, and that's with the two individuals.

    "So then, Mr. Foote has a reputation that precedes his entrance into any bar. Again I contend that the owners are somewhat responcible and should be held accountable as they knew what he was capable of and of his past criminal acts."

    This is very assumptious. You do realize that owners aren't present a great deal of the time...that's why they have managers and staff right? So it would be unreasonablr that every bartender knows this kid by face, and in your words his "reputation and his criminal acts." This kid isn't the Unibomber or Jeffery Dahmer, I highly doubt his reputation is of any consequence to anyone, he's not that special, especially when all they have to do to diffuse a situation with him in it, is kick him out, because yet again....what happens outside a buisness is public, not a private problem. Doc..I get what you're saying about the 3 strike mandate, but the problem is your trying to put responsibility where it doesn't belong. You can't place mandates on fast food restaurants because I ate there, got fat and had a heart attack. You're missing the idea of assumption of risk. "I" chose to eat there, "I" know that their food isn't the healthiest for my body....but yet I chose to anyway, "I" assumed the risk. Just as these two people assumed the risk of consuming alcohol knowing what it does to a person's cognitive decision making. Blaming the bar isn't productive, nor is it even correct.

    -- Posted by lastsonofoa on Sat, Dec 1, 2012, at 10:27 AM
  • Wait, how do you know the bar owners had prior knowledge of his actions? That is ridiculous.

    -- Posted by PleaseThink on Mon, Dec 3, 2012, at 1:21 PM
  • Um...yeah...Chase's mom is a bartender there.

    -- Posted by forjeff on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 3:53 PM
  • lastsonofoa......Very Well Said!!!!!

    -- Posted by acerdj on Fri, Dec 7, 2012, at 5:06 AM
  • It may not be the bars fault but I believe they are responsible of the ones they hire.As far as Deb Chases'mom she did bartend at the Tap but had not for 9 months.but as your job being the bartender you are the one who was hired to wait on your customers make them want to stick around and have a good time. But on this night the bartender working should be accountable for something she was the instigator and not her first time. respect is something we all expect. you do not yell and scream at your customers.you treat them with respect give them a chance.provoking Chase calling him names Jeff trying to calm the situation. How ironic Jeff sticking up trying to help the bartender with the situation she provoked.And refusing to call 911 saying we don't call cops around here. Really I know Chase was responsible for his own action but if anyone reading this has ever been a bartender how many times on your shift would this end up outside. This altercation was something that would not have ever taken place if the bartender (and the only bartender I am speaking of was the incompetent one that night).So she should get something yelling and yelling at someone for laying his head on the bar and not calling 911 for the man who had your back when you created the situation. Does she feel good about herself. In this case Chase is responsible and the bartender who created it and the owners they should take there part. The only bar in town you get kicked out one night and told you can never come back and 2 days later get back in.

    -- Posted by cinderella#1 on Sat, Dec 8, 2012, at 8:28 PM
  • cinderella#1 ~ Your post indicates that you may have witnessed and have details regarding what occurred in the bar. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE come forward and make a statement to the police officer in charge: Mark Warburton or the County Attorney: Mike Houchins. Please do it for Jeff and his family...they need your help.

    -- Posted by HunterGal on Wed, Dec 12, 2012, at 6:52 PM
  • @ Cinderella#1

    Bingo!!! Don't disturb your cards folks... we have a bingo.

    Please do "come forward" as HunterGal has suggested.

    -- Posted by Doctlby on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 4:08 PM
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