Judge jails mother for court hearings, comment

By Joy Ufford, jufford@pinedaleroundup.com
Posted 3/22/23

At Monday’s Circuit Court hearing on March 20, Judge LaBuda said the mother’s attendances at her son’s court hearings “were the main allegation” against her.

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Judge jails mother for court hearings, comment


SUBLETTE COUNTY – A mother’s presence at her son’s felony court hearings last month were enough for new Judge John LaBuda to immediately send her from her own Circuit Court hearing Monday to jail for 10 days.

Gloria DeNava, of Idyllwild, Calif., is currently working and living in Pinedale to support her son Nicholas A. Leyva, of Daniel, as he works through his 9th District Court felony assault case with his estranged husband Dr. Charles Buck Wallace.

Earlier, Wallace requested and received a “stalking” protection order against DeNava, saying he feared for his safety. Judge Curt Haws presided over the first violation hearing alleged by Wallace and found DeNava violated the order. He sentenced her to 10 days in jail, suspended, with a condition that she not be present anywhere Wallace was present.

In February, DeNava attended her son’s first change-of-plea hearing in 9th District Court, sitting behind him.

Wallace also attended, sitting across and back in the courtroom from DeNava. He and Leyva also have protection orders against one another.

Security and court officials did not make any objections on Feb. 21 and appeared to handle everyone’s separate comings and goings with great care, as observed by the Pinedale Roundup reporter. None of the three spoke to or looked at one another except Wallace, who watched Leyva closely throughout the hearing.

A second change-of-plea hearing took place in District Court several days later, which the Pinedale Roundup reporter did not attend and which witnesses said went as smoothly as the first.

However, Wallace later objected in his attorney’s filing of an alleged violation by DeNava.

At Monday’s Circuit Court hearing on March 20, Judge LaBuda said the mother’s attendances at her son’s court hearings “were the main allegation” against her.

“You were not to be present where Dr. Wallace was present and you were at (Leyva’s) change-of-plea hearing,” the judge said, after explaining this was a civil, not criminal contempt of court charge.

“I admit that, sir,” DeNava said. “I was at the one prior to that as well, sir.”

Judge LaBuda then asked if on March 13, DeNava had delivered a notarized letter to Wallace’s employer, the governor, FBI and other agencies.

“I admit to part of it,” DeNava said. “My attorney –“

“Do you admit or deny you sent the letter?” he asked.

DeNava listed people to whom she sent the letter.

Judge LaBuda then took up Wallace’s second motion to find DeNava in contempt of court for online posts about Wallace.

The first, it was determined, was already addressed earlier by Judge Haws. The second claim took place on March 23, 2023, according to Wallace and his attorney. Judge LaBuda asked DeNava if she made the March 23 post; she replied that it was on “a personal and private page to my family and friends.”

The posts did not state Wallace’s name but called the person a “m*** f***.”

The incorrect date was filed with Wallace’s complaint and appeared to refer to March 13, not March 23, court records show.

The judge said her admission to “one in part” led him to conclude DeNava violated the protection order. He then had her testify under oath to accept her responses “as evidence."

“At the last hearing you admitted to a number of allegations,” he said, adding Judge Haws told her she would go to jail for 10 days if she violated the order.

“Your Honor, I didn’t get to present my evidence,” DeNava said.

He ordered DeNava to be taken into custody immediately; the deputy handcuffed her but ceased presumably after being reminded of her rheumatoid arthritis for which she just began treatment in Rock Springs.

As for DeNava’s ability to attend her son’s future May 18 sentencing hearing in 9th District Court, the judge ordered a status conference hearing before then.