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Family, friends remember long-time attorney

by EMILY BONSANT
Hagadone News Network | January 11, 2024 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — He was an exceptional friend and top-notch attorney as well as a dedicated family man.

Boundary County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tevis Hull, 63, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, leaving a void both for his family and the county’s legal department. 

In addition to his role as prosecutor, where he practiced criminal law and covered felony cases, Hull was also the county's civil council which includes handling legal disputes from planning and zoning, lawsuits, and more.  

Hull had worked for the Boundary County Prosecutor’s Office for nearly 16 years. He was Bonner County’s prosecutor from 1993 to 1997 and became that county's first full-time prosecutor. During his career, Hull helped establish the first victim/witness support program in Bonner County, as well as being the youngest elected prosecutor in the state of Idaho.

Friends and co-workers said Hull will be deeply missed. 

“Tevis was an exceptional friend, mentor and attorney. His passing is a great loss to Boundary County and to the Prosecutor’s Office,” said Andrakay Pluid, Boundary County prosecutor.

“I’m just very sad," Boundary County Commissioner Tim Bertling said about Mr. Hull’s passing. "He was a really good person, and his integrity was impeccable. This is a huge loss to our community.”

Hull graduated Sandpoint High School in 1978, wrestled at North Idaho College, and then graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.S. in communications. He received his law degree from the University of Idaho School of Law in 1989. 

Dedicated to his family, he and his wife Carrie had five children, fostered countless others, and adopted eight more. His family came first, and he often could be heard telling others that they were his biggest and most prized achievements.

Serving others came next in terms of importance, whether it was dressing up as Santa Claus to brighten Christmas, helping someone get firewood, or plowing their driveway — all with a big smile on his face.

A GoFundMe campaign was established for those wishing to assist the family. The campaign can be found at gofundme.com/f/tevis-w-hull. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than $24,000 has been raised.

Elected officials and county staff past and present commented on Hull’s professionalism, dedication, compassionate bearing, and kindness. 

Boundary County Sheriff Dave Kramer said Hull always gave good legal advice and was a great person with whom to brainstorm ideas.

“[Tevis] was just a wonderful human being, an intelligent and calming influence in almost every situation I was in with him,” said former commissioner Dan Dinning, who served as commissioner from 2002 to 2020. “He was a real asset to the county.”

On Monday, Pluid and the county commissioners met regarding advertising and filling the chief deputy position. 

Pluid said the county will most likely not be able to fill the position with one person, rather it would be best to look into recruiting a prosecutor specializing in criminal law to cover felony cases and possibly hiring a part-time civil attorney to represent the county. For the moment, Pluid will take over civil cases for the county. For the past 11 years, she has been the civil attorney for the city of Bonners Ferry. 

“Tevis [Hull] was in a special position as he was experienced in criminal and civil law. Now [in the law profession] that interception of expertise is not common. Now lawyers either practice civil or criminal law.”

The county could contract out civil counsel whether on an hourly or part-time basis. 

Pluid’s immediate concern was getting another prosecutor to handle felony cases since the caseload is more than one attorney can bear. Due to the load of felony cases, Pluid said the county will need an experienced attorney due to the severity of the cases, rather than a recent law school graduate. 

Hull was assigned to several felony cases, including sex crimes. Pluid said some cases will be pushed back, but if a case has already been continued, Pluid will have to take the case to trial. 

“What we're going to end up finding is we need a third person,” Pluid told the commissioners. 

Another issue will be recruiting an attorney, which has been an issue not just for the region, but the state as a whole. 

Currently, Kootenai County is hiring a deputy prosecutor for $85,000 to $119,000 a year. At the meeting, Pluid said Kootenai County had been trying to hire three prosecutors for over a year. One position was filled by a former Bonner County prosecutor. 

There was a discussion of having a start wage higher than what other counties have advertised to attract applicants. 

Pluid suggested a starting yearly salary of $90,000 would be appropriate, noting that this would affect the county budget which comes from taxpayer dollars. However, she said a lower salary might not encourage experienced applicants to apply. 

The commissioners have decided to post jobs for both a civil and criminal prosecutor and see what applications come in.