Wyoming news briefs for May 5

Man facing 31 child abuse counts waives hearing

GILLETTE — A Gillette man charged with 31 counts of aggravated child abuse has been bound over to District Court after he waived his preliminary hearing.

Tyler Bryan Martinson, 28, had been scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on Monday afternoon in Circuit Court. But he waived that hearing, during which prosecutors would have had to prove there is probable cause to suspect him of the crimes.

His arraignment in District Court, at which he will enter of plea of either guilty or not guilty, has not been set.

Martinson was arrested in January after his 3-month-old son was found with 26 rib fractures and five broken bones in his legs. The worst fracture was to the child’s upper femur, according to court documents.

The boy’s parents had taken him to the emergency room Jan. 2 because he was crying and “inconsolable,” and a popping sound from his ribs when he breathed worried them. His right leg also wasn’t moving.

Tests showed that the baby had “multiple bilateral posterior breaks to his ribs that were in various stages of healing,” according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case. “These breaks showed they were in three different stages of healing.”

The child also had a 45-degree angle break to his right femur along with a break to the end of the femur by his kneecap. There were two breaks in his right tibia by his ankles. He also had a break to his left femur by his kneecap, the affidavit said.


Albany County attorney steps down

LARAMIE — Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent announced Tuesday that she is resigning her position, effective immediately, with 18 months left in her term. 

Trent submitted her letter of resignation to the Albany County Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning. Trent, a Democrat, was first elected in 2014 and re-elected four years later. Her current term runs through the end of 2022. 

In comments to the commissioners Tuesday, Trent said she has taken another job out of state. 

She noted she’s the second woman to serve in the position in Albany County and outlined numerous accomplishments. 

Among them, she led reforms of the county’s criminal justice system by forming a community juvenile service board, creating a single point of entry for juvenile criminal matters and expanding the juvenile diversion program. 

“I have been fortunate to work with some of the highest achievers in our community, who share the same vision for our county to help our vulnerable populations,” Trent said. 

She also formed a special victims unit dedicated to prosecuting sexual assault, domestic violence, strangulation and stalking. 

“I’m leaving behind a team of highly trained trial lawyers in the Albany County Attorney’s Office, and I established a victim-centered approach to criminal prosecution,” she said.


Mask mandate dropped for Shoshoni schools

RIVERTON — Shoshoni school students and teachers are no longer required to wear masks and maintain six feet of separation.

Fremont County School District 24 has received an exception to Wyoming Public Health orders regarding event capacity, six-foot spacing, and face coverings, according to an announcement Wednesday.

Other provisions, which mandate frequent hand hygiene and quarantining for COVID-19 symptom-bearers, are still in place, and buses still are subject to national COVID-19 requirements.

School officials said this week's variance "can be revoked if things change for the worse," but starting Wednesday "masks will not be required in our schools."

"Anyone and everyone is welcome to continue to wear them, but they are not required," officials said in a statement online. "Please respect those that continue to mask, as they may have a family member they are trying to protect."

The statement also urges "due diligence" precautions, such as staying home when sick, and notes that mass contact tracing can occur in the event of a positive case.