Wyoming news briefs for June 23


Bronze Chris LeDoux statue rides into CFD

CHEYENNE – World champion bareback rider Chris LeDoux made another good ride at Cheyenne Frontier Days – only this time it was with the help of an 18-wheeler and a crane. 

A new, larger-than-life bronze statue of the Wyoming rodeo cowboy and country music star arrived at the park Tuesday. 

Sculptor D. Michael Thomas of Buffalo was on hand to help guide the 12.5-foot-tall, 17-foot-long statue as a crane operator slowly lifted it from the truck to its newly constructed pedestal at the southwest corner of Frontier Park. 

The statue is visible from Interstate 25 and will greet Park and Ride passengers as they get off the bus at the new drop-off location near Hynds Boulevard just south of the large CFD sign. 

According to, this year’s celebration will be held in honor of LeDoux because of his ties to the event. 

“It was a pretty obvious decision that we would dedicate the entire 125th to Chris LeDoux, one of our hometown heroes,” said Cheyenne Frontier Days General Chairman Jimmy Dean Siler. “Here’s an individual who grew up here in Cheyenne and stayed within Wyoming. He became a world champ bareback rider and became one of the top names in entertainment in the country music industry. He kind of covers everything that is about Cheyenne Frontier Days.’

Thomas’ statue depicts LeDoux wearing a CFD contestant number 125 on his back as he rides a bucking horse – a nod to the event’s 125th anniversary.

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Agreement reached in case involving missing dog

GILLETTE –- A deal has been reached involving charges against a Washington man who kept a lost dog last summer even though he was told the owner was actively looking for it.

Chandler Murano-Hunting, 22, had been charged with felony theft of a 3-year-old Yorkshire terrier. A plea agreement has been reached that proposes he pay restitution in full and the charge be reduced to a misdemeanor. 

The story of the lost dog started July 20 when a dog named Chevy went missing from an Oriva Hills home. The owner posted about the missing dog on Facebook, which was seen by a 20-year-old woman who was visiting her grandparents in Gillette.

She told the owner that she had shown Murano-Hunting the photo and urged him to turn the dog in, but he decided to keep it, according to an affidavit.

He left for Seattle on July 24 and took Chevy with him, despite his cousin’s efforts to try to get him to return the dog to his owner, according to the affidavit.

The owner began texting him and learned that he had taken Chevy to a Humane Society in Washington and left him there. A friend of hers who lived in the area went to pick the dog up on July 26.

Chevy “appeared to be in poor condition and was limping,” according to the affidavit, so the owner’s friend took it to an Oregon veterinary clinic.

The owner drove to Oregon to get Chevy and bring him home, where he was to have surgery with an estimated cost of $2,741.

Murano-Hunting also was charged with a misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals.

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FBI seeks community assistance as investigation continues into man’s homicide in Fort Washakie

RIVERTON — The FBI is asking the community for help with “an ongoing homicide investigation” in Fort Washakie, according to an agency statement dispatched Thursday afternoon. 

The bureau is seeking public assistance in identifying any individuals who could be responsible for the murder of Royce Perry Sr, a 43-year-old male who was an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe. 

He died nearly four years ago on the Wind River Indian Reservation. 

A reward of up to $5,000 is offered for information that helps solve the investigation. 

The Wind River Police Department also is investigating the case. WRPD is a federal agency. 

Anyone with information may call 303-629-7171 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. 

Perry is documented as 5 feet 8 inches tall, with black hair and brown eyes. He was born in Lander on Nov. 11, 1973. His body was found in a home on South Fork Road in Fort Washakie on July 26, 2017. 

“It is believed there were multiple witnesses to the events that transpired, culminating in Perry’s death,” the statement reads. 

Information received on the government tip line can remain anonymous.   

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Douglas man pleads not guilty to multiple drug-related offenses

DOUGLAS — Brandon Harrington pleaded not guilty to multiple drug charges at his arraignment earlier this month. 

The Douglas man is facing charges of alleged possession of meth with intent to deliver, felony possession of meth, and possession of THC, heroin and Suboxone. 

No trial date has been set. 

If Harrington, 29, is found guilty of all counts, he faces up to 30 years in prison. 

When Converse County Sheriff officers met with Harrington during a probation house check in an apartment on April 30, the suspect had slow, raspy speech, constricted pupils and was nodding off. He admitted to using heroin prior to their arrival, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.

Harrington later took a Fentanyl Reagent Field Test, which is designed to identify either Fentanyl or Acetyl-fentanyl and meth. He tested presumptively positive for both. 

As Harrington was being taken away, one officer noticed items he believed were related to drug use. 

The sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant and found 47.54 grams of suspected meth and a number of jewelry-type bags, 2.9 grams of heroin with a baggy, 4.5 grams of marijuana/THC and eight packets of Suboxone, which is used to treat opioid addictions. 

Also located in Harrington’s room were records of drug transactions that took place and amounts of money that were collected or owed, the affidavit states. 

The maximum penalty for possession with intent to deliver is 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine; seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine for felony possession of meth; and a year in jail and a $1,000 fine apiece for possession of marijuana/THC, heroin and Suboxone.

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Thousands attend 35th annual Chugwater Chili Cook-Off

WHEATLAND — Hundreds of gallons of chili were eaten by thousands of people who had descended upon the sleepy little town of Chugwater for the 35th annual Chugwater Chili Cook-Off held June 19 at Staats Park. 

Many chili vendors came from far and wide to showcase their chili recipes and hopefully take home the hardware for the best concoction. 

The activities started Friday night with an appreciation dinner at Staats Park. 

It was then up early for registrations which began at 7 a.m. in preparation for the day, which officially was open to the public at 9 a.m. 

“This has been one of the best years,” said Glenn Woods from KGAB Radio, who acted as the stage emcee and also did some live streaming for the radio. “Everybody’s just itching to get outside right now so this place has been packed.” 

The purpose of the competition was not just for people to get out and have a good time. “This all goes and helps support the town,” Woods said. “They don’t have a big tax base, so this is what they do to raise money to keep the town going, like the fire department, water, all of those other things. So there’s many thanks for people coming out for this.”

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