Wyoming news briefs for March 10
Torrington man killed in crash
TORRINGTON — The Wyoming Highway Patrol issued a press release Monday morning after a fatal accident occurred near mile marker 87, approximately six miles south of Torrington on U.S. Highway 85 on Saturday, March 6.
“At 7:37 a.m., Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers were notified of a motor vehicle collision,” according to the release.
The investigation found a 2005 Kia Spectra was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 85 when the vehicle crossed the centerline and entered the southbound lane, colliding head-on with a 2013 Kia Optima.
The driver of the 2005 Kia Spectra was identified as 19-year-old Torrington resident Tyler T. Schaub. Shaub was not wearing a seatbelt and succumbed to his injuries at the scene, according to the release.
The driver of the 2013 Kia Optima was identified as 18-year-old Torrington resident Samantha D. Hill.
Hill was wearing her seatbelt and was transported by helicopter to Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where she was treated for injuries sustained in the collision.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol said driver fatigue on the part of Schaub is being investigated as a potential contributing factor in the collision.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol also noted in the release this crash marks the 18th fatality on Wyoming’s roadways in 2021. In comparison, there were 11 fatalities in 2020, 25 fatalities in 2019 and 12 fatalities in 2018.
Man found guilty in 2020 murder
TORRINGTON — Terry Anderson, a Goshen County resident who was accused of the murder of Deedra Strauch after an incident that occurred Jan. 24, 2020, has been found guilty of murder in the second degree.
Anderson’s jury trial began March 1, when Goshen County Attorney Eric Boyer said he would show that Strauch had stayed with Anderson at Anderson’s residence in Goshen County and that there was an incident involving a fight between Anderson and Strauch.
Boyer said the evidence would show Strauch was getting ready to leave when the altercation transpired, resulting in Strauch’s death.
Defense attorney Joe Bustos, however, told the jury Strauch had hit Anderson with a broom, causing him to fall over. Bustos said Anderson’s fall caused a firearm to be bumped and discharged, asserting the discharge was an accident and not intentional.
On the morning of March 4, the jury returned the verdict of guilty on a charge of second-degree murder.
Anderson immediately shook his head after hearing the verdict.
Judge Scott Peasley ruled Anderson was to be remanded to the custody of the Goshen County Sheriff’s Office where he would be held without bond until his sentencing in approximately 90 days.
Man arrested after SWAT team responds to domestic disturbance
ROCK SPRINGS — A Rock Springs man was in custody Friday afternoon after a SWAT callout to his residence west of Rock Springs.
Richard Gamble, 41, was arrested by SWAT officers without incident on suspicion of multiple charges in connection with a domestic disturbance that occurred overnight, according to a press release.
At around 5 a.m. Friday, sheriff ’s deputies responded to Gamble’s residence after his girlfriend, Cindy Liston, 38, also of Rock Springs, called to report that she awoke in the early morning hours to Gamble allegedly spitting in her face and screaming obscenities at her.
Gamble is then alleged to have retreated to his bedroom, where he retrieved a handgun before returning to the living room, where he pinned Liston to the ground with his knees on her chest, cutting off her airway until she could not breathe.
After shattering Liston’s cellphone, Gamble then reportedly went back into the bedroom and returned with a rubber mat. While swinging the rubber mat toward Liston, Gamble hit a picture on the wall, breaking the glass picture frame and peppering Liston with shards of glass.
Liston said Gamble then grabbed a piece of glass and began cutting himself. Liston said she escaped to the bathroom and locked the door, but Gamble reportedly then broke into the bathroom by knocking a hole in the door. While in the bathroom, Gamble allegedly cast blood on Liston from his self-inflicted wound.
Green River attorney disbarred
GREEN RIVER — A Green River attorney was disbarred by the Wyoming Supreme Court for her conduct in representing clients and the status of their cases.
The court on Feb. 24 issued a press release regarding Danielle Mathey’s disbarment, saying she admitted to lying to clients about the status of their cases, fabricating court documents and mishandling trust account funds belonging to a client, as well as failing to respond to inquiries by the Wyoming State Bar’s Office of Bar Counsel regarding her conduct.
According to court documents, one of the cases involved inolved Lyman residents Jack and Marianne Bluemel, who hired Mathey to file a lawsuit on behalf of their company, JAMA Enterprises, LLC.
After emailing Mathey the information for the case against RPM in March 2016 and updated employment information for one of the defendants in May 2016, Marianne Bluemel requested a status update of the lawsuit Sept. 26, 2016. Mathey told her the cases were proceeding well.
On Feb. 20, 2017, Mathey told the Bluemels she would “get on” the case and that the affidavits would be authenticated and submitted to the judge.
On April 5, 2017, Marianne Bluemel requested another status update and Mathey did not communicate with her between then and Feb. 28, 2018.
After the Bluemels filed a complaint against Mathey through the Office of Bar Counsel in January 2018, Mathey said she allowed “a client to slip through the cracks.” She said the issue stemmed from her mental health issues and admitted she violated her duty of diligence and to communicate.
Man pleads guilty to federal charges in drug trafficking case
JACKSON — A Teton County man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to two charges related to drug trafficking and money laundering.
According to the case file in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming, Bryan Jones entered pleas of guilty to two counts, though the documents are sealed so the details of the plea agreement are unavailable to the public.
Jones was arrested by federal drug enforcement agents near his Jackson home in December 2019 after a five-year investigation into what officials called a large drug trafficking organization.
Jones and three co-defendants were indicted by a grand jury in January 2020 for conspiracy to distribute and manufacture a metric ton of marijuana and conspiracy to launder money.
“On Oct. 31, 2016, an investigation was initiated by the Drug Enforcement Administration into the Jones Drug Trafficking Organization,” court documents stated. “Information received from law enforcement sources in Jackson, Wyoming, indicated that Jones was trafficking large quantities of marijuana in the Jackson, Wyoming, area.”
Investigators had been surveilling Jones’ South Park house and tracking flight records and bank accounts.
Jones, who’s been out on pretrial release, was set to go on trial this month in Casper.
The plea deal means Jones will be sentenced in May.
Restrictions placed on 81-year-old Carbon Co. bridge
RAWLINS — The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) has seriously restricted the allowable weight on a small bridge on Highway 130, just west of the junction with County Road 504, without any public notice.
The decision seems to have been put in place November 2020, however no public posting of this new weight restriction for this bridge could be found on the WYDOT website. The only posting found on that site, was listed in the Size and Weight Restrictions Summary.
It was a posting marked as (sic) 21-010 dated 12/2/20 and listed the legal weight limits at maximum gross weight of 80,000 pounds, with no mention of a restricted bridge.
The weight limits for this bridge, prior to the new restrictions, and still posted on March 4 were “2-3 Axles = no restrictions; 4-5 axles = 25 tons; 6+ axles = 28 tons: semi-trailer combination = no restrictions; truck full trailer combination = no restrictions.”
The new weight limit restrictions, now in effect but not yet posted on the roadway, are “2-3 axles = 13 tons; 4-5 axles = 15 tons; 6+ axles = 17 tons; Semi-trailer combination = 25 tons; Truck Full Trailer Combination = 27 tons,” according to an E-mail received from Jordan Ach, District One Public Relations Specialist for WYDOT.
These new weight limits and load postings will be used “to prevent loads that could cause stresses above an allowable limit from further damaging the bridge.” Updated signage will be installed soon, weather permitting. “This bridge is not considered unsafe in its current condition,” said Ach.