SUBLETTE COUNTY – Separate trial costs for three Florida residents arrested while driving through western Wyoming went as high as $100,000 – but all three reached plea agreements with one changing her pleas on June 3.
Jerquila K. Bell, Antwan T. Kegler and Nykolus K. Williams-Richburg were arrested Feb. 9 while traveling in two cars.
In the two cars, the three had more than 50 driver’s licenses, credit and debit cards, checkbooks, cell phones and other personal items reported stolen in the previous weeks by owners from a number of states.
They pleaded not guilty during March 18 videoconference arraignments to dozens of charges, both felonies and misdemeanors. Bell was also charged with the felony of bringing a controlled substance, marijuana, into the Sublette County Jail.
On April 22, Sublette County Attorney Mike Crosson had argued successfully before 9th District Judge Marv Tyler to join the three defendants in one jury trial, citing costs as high as $100,000 to bring each and every witness for separate cases.
At that time, the defendants had not participated in interviews, maintaining silence.
Bell’s change of plea and sentencing hearing took place in person, with public-health procedures closely followed after almost a year of COVID-19 restrictions closed both county courtrooms.
Crosson, public defender Rachel Weksler and Bell reached an agreement filed May 11 that listed 20 charges against the defendant.
On June 3, she pleaded “no contest” to Count I, conspiracy to possess forged writing; Count II, taking a controlled substance into jail; Count III, theft of a checkbook and Count IV, interference with a peace officer, the agreement says.
The first sentence, not suspended, was three years to three and one-half years in the Wyoming Women’s Center or other facility. The second, also not suspended, was 18 to 30 months incarceration and the third sentence for theft, not suspended, was six months’ incarceration. For interference with a peace officer, Bell will spend 12 months in jail or another facility. All sentences run at the same time. She was also assessed court fees.
Kegler, represented by public defender Elisabeth Trefonas, was the next to reach a plea agreement filed May 12. He faces nine charges including two felonies – conspiracy to possess a forged writing and possession of a forged writing.
His plea agreement says that Kegler would plead “guilty” to possession of a forged writing and misdemeanor possession of THC. The recommended sentences are three to four years in prison and a one-year prison term, not suspended, served at the same time.
Williams-Richburg, represented by attorney Rives White as public defender, had 21 charges filed against him with one the felony of conspiracy to possess a forged writing. He has agreed to plead “no contest” to the conspiracy felony and misdemeanors of checkbook theft, interference with a peace officer and possession of THC. The recommended sentences are three to three and one-half years in prison, six months in jail, 12 months in jail and 12 months in jail, to run at the same time.
Change-of-plea hearings for Kegler and Williams-Richburg are not yet scheduled.