‘High risk’ Brost gets last chance


SUBLETTE COUNTY – A young Pinedale man with time in prison – some for going AWOL while on probation, a felony – is getting one more chance to get his life on track.

At 17, Jeffrey J. Brost was arrested for burglary. At 20, he walked away from probation at a Casper reentry program and was first reported as “missing,” then “escaped.” He was arrested in Arizona a year later and brought back to Wyoming, where he was sentenced to 18 to 24 months in prison for the escape, according to court records.

On parole, Brost moved to Pinedale where his family lives. Last September, he was arrested and charged with two felonies, conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, meth, and delivery of meth, as well as misdemeanor possession of meth, records show.

He pleaded not guilty to all three charges in 9th District Court and a jury trial was set for March 8, then July 19. In the meantime, public defender Rachel Weksler and Sublette County Deputy Attorney Clayton Melinkovich worked out a plea agreement filed June 22.

Although Brost faced a maximum of 41 years in prison and fines of $51,000, the plea agreement stated in exchange for pleading no contest to the meth delivery charge, they would recommend one prison term of six to eight years. Then, the agreement recommended suspending the sentence for five years of supervised probation.

And, if Brost successfully completed three years, he could petition to have it modified.

On July 15, Brost appeared before District Judge Marv Tyler to change his plea and await his sentencing decision. Judge Tyler made it clear that he had serious doubts about sentencing Brost to probation, referring to his past courtroom experiences with Brost.

On the earliest felony charge, the judge said Brost successfully completed “boot camp” and substance abuse treatment – so he reduced his sentence to the probation terms at the Casper reentry center “that led to the escape charge” and more prison time.

Also, the presentence investigation report Judge Tyler received in January indicated Brost was “highly probable” to commit further crimes. The PSI noted that Brost had “a criminal personality” with anger and cognitive issues, the judge said.

Weksler said the PSI was done before Brost started making changes – he developed skills and has a job and a “close-knit family.”

“The defendant spent most of his adult life in prison and believes he has made some lifestyle changes,” she said. “These collective changes have changed him since the PSI was done. He has the desire to continue to do so.”

Melinkovich said Brost had 46 days’ credit for presentence confinement.

Judge Tyler said this might be the third court case he had with Brost. Although Weksler addressed some of his concerns, his largest was the “likelihood of you reoffending. That’s very concerning to me in light of probation. … I’ve given you this speech in the past.”

With limited options, supervised probation would be Brost’s “last gasp chance,” the judge said. “You have to conform to probation terms every second of every hour of every day. … It’s up to you. Nobody else. If you are really sincerely committed, I’m willing to give you one more shot, but I am highly concerned.”

He asked if Brost wanted to address the court.

“You have a more intimate understanding of my past than the attorneys; except for my father,” Brost told Judge Tyler, adding that he is excited about his job and being certified as a trainer. “It would be the same as being out on bail. I’m fully aware and I am ready to take those steps for the next five years and the rest of my life.”

Judge Tyler accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Brost to five years of supervised probation. “I believe every person should have some opportunities to succeed. The scarcity of those options limit a person’s ability to succeed, except to put them in prison.”

Prison or probation are his two options, the judge said, and failure at probation will mean a prison sentence. He dismissed Brost’s two remaining charges and ordered him to report for supervised probation as soon as possible.

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