Eilers’ Shooter a Former Sheriff, Stepfather

By Loretta Hunt Dec 29, 2008
Details released by the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office describe a frantic effort to save the life of Justin Eilers, who was fatally shot late Christmas night at his mother and stepfather’s residence.

Eilers was wounded once in the chest by his stepfather James Robert Malec, a former deputy sheriff, during a domestic dispute. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:36 p.m. MST after emergency medical technicians could not revive him with CPR.

Canyon County Coroner Vicki DeGeus-Morris confirmed that the single shot had punctured Eilers’ lung before it exited his back.

Canyon County sheriffs were the first to arrive at the residence at 11:00 p.m. MST, and found Eilers on his back in the living room. Eilers’ mother and ex-girlfriend were over the body, attempting to apply pressure to the wound until paramedics arrived around 11:15 p.m., confirmed Capt. Dana Maxfield.

An argument between Eilers and an ex-girlfriend, who have a son together, had broken out earlier and she had left the residence, according to Capt. Maxfield.

Tensions continued in the kitchen between Eilers and Malec, said Maxfield. Unverified reports suggest Eilers was asked to leave, but refused. Maxfield said glass and other items were found on the kitchen floor, knocked over by Eilers in protest.

“He [Eilers] was verbally challenging Malec,” said Capt. Maxfield.

Eilers was shot with a large caliber handgun standing in the doorway adjoining the kitchen and the living room and fell back into the living area.

Maxfield said Eilers’ mother witnessed the shooting. Earlier reports that Eilers’ 8-year-old son was also present in the room were false, though he was on the premises with other family members. Eilers’ ex-girlfriend was not present at the time of the shooting, but returned afterward, said Maxfield.

Maxfield confirmed that both Eilers and Malec had been drinking.

“Alcoholism was a contributing factor to the entire incident,” said Capt. Maxfield. “This is a good example of how, in many instances, firearms and alcohol don’t mix.”

Malec, 48, was arrested at the scene for second-degree murder and arraigned Friday. He is being held at the Canyon County Jail on $1,000,000 bond.

Malec served as a Canyon County deputy sheriff from April 1996 to July 2000. Malec had been assigned to the detention center and also worked as a canine handler. Numerous firearms were found in the home, said Maxfield.

Malec exercised his Miranda Rights and declined to be interviewed at the sheriffs’ office, according to Maxfield.

A former Iowa State middle linebacker, the well-liked Eilers was a member of the Miletich Martial Arts team and fought for the UFC and EliteXC heavyweight titles in 2005 and 2008.

A viewing for family and friends will be held on Jan. 1 from 2-6 p.m. at the Alsip Funeral Home in South Nampa, Idaho. Funeral services will be held on Jan. 2 at 10 a.m. at The Church Of Latter Day Saints, also in Nampa.

A benefit dinner and auction, as well as a trust fund for Eilers’ son are being organized by friends and family, according to FullContactIdaho.com. More information on donations is available at the site.
<h2>Fight Finder</h2>