Man who shot woman in North End sentenced

Posted at 5:05 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 20:12:18-04

A man who stalked a woman for weeks and shot her at a home in the North End neighborhood has been sentenced to 25 years in prison with five years of parole.

Christopher Lynn Wirfs was arrested on September 12th, 2015, after shooting Makaela Ann Zabel-Gravett on the 700 block of West Resseguie Street. She was hospitalized with serious injuries but survived.

When Wirfs appeared in court following his arrest, prosecutors revealed that he had been harassing Zabel-Gravett for months including threatening text messages and showing up at her place of work.

Zabel-Gravett was unable to file a protection order against Wirfs for the harassment leading up to the shooting due to Idaho code at the time specifying that only people in domestic or family relationships could get a protective order

Wirfs legal case spurred the Idaho Legislature to pass a stricter stalking law that was signed into law by Governor Otter on March 30th, 2016.

 “Stalking and harassment are not limited to domestic relationships, and the law needs to recognize this fact,” bill sponsor Senator Burgoyne said during the last session. “Of course, no law can stop all stalkers and harassers, but my bill will put these lawbreakers on the radar of law enforcement and the justice system, and give the police and judges leverage in dealing with them."

Senate Bill 1373 now allows for victims of stalking and harassment to file a protection order based on harassing phone calls, e-mails and other forms of electronic or verbal communication. The bill also waived a filing fee associated with the protection order.