AG Says Claremont Officer's Shooting No Longer Considered 'Legally Justified'

Oct 1, 2019

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office has amended its finding in a fatal 2016 officer involved shooting of a 25-year-old Claremont man, Cody LaFont.

The Attorney General's office initially concluded that the shooting was "legally justified," but it decided to re-examine the case after the officer involved was convicted of falsifying documents related to a police search last year.

The Attorney General's office says it can't disprove former officer Ian Kibbe's self-defense claim, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Assistant Attorney General John Kennedy says Kibbe's unrelated crimes called his credibility into question, and that changed their conclusion.

"We no longer are confident that this is legally justified, that the evidence supported beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Kibbe acted in conformance with the law," he said.

The office had reviewed the case and hired an expert in crime scene reconstruction. That review found that that the physical evidence at the shooting scene was generally consistent.

But, Kennedy says in a case like this, his office uses first-hand accounts, like Kibbe’s in coming to their conclusions.

“Because of his subsequent convictions that went directly to his credibility, we no longer feel confident in relying upon his statements as being credible,” he said.

The state won't file any new charges against Kibbe.

The family of Cody LaFont, who died in the shooting, filed a lawsuit last week against the city of Claremont, a police supervisor and Kibbe himself. They claim he used excessive force and that LaFont was the victim of discrimination.