Wyoming news briefs for March 9

Posted 3/9/22

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Wyoming news briefs for March 9


Bill to make meth use while pregnant a felony dies

LARAMIE — A bill that would have made it a felony offense to use methamphetamine while pregnant has died. 

House Bill 85, “Child endangering-controlled substance use while pregnant,” received a 17-8 vote against passage Monday in the Senate Committee of the Whole. 

The bill stated that no person, while pregnant, “shall knowingly consume methamphetamine or a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II that is a narcotic drug,” and was aimed at fixing a loophole in current law, according to its sponsor, Rep. Ember Oakley, R-Riverton. 

“It is illegal to possess methamphetamine, it is illegal to use methamphetamine, but it was interpreted to happen that it is not illegal to ingest methamphetamine while you are pregnant,” Oakley said on the House floor on Feb. 25.


Truancy and absenteeism bill passed

TORRINGTON — Both houses have passed a bill which will affect how absenteeism and truancy is defined in schools. 

SF 0031 was one of 19 bills as of Friday which have been signed by the house speaker and senate president. 

During the committee’s first meeting of the budget session, Sen. Affie Ellis, R-Cheyenne, said the law was lacking since the statute does not delineate who is at fault for the truancy. The law previously put all the blame on the parents regardless of the type of absenteeism or truancy. 

The new definition of habitual truancy in the bill is, “any child who disobeys reasonable and lawful demands of the child’s parent, guardian, custodian or other proper authority to attend school.” 

Willful absenteeism is defined as exceeding the limit of unexcused absences and it is the parent/guardian’s fault. The bill also includes conforming amendments to match federal law and to clarify punishments and consequences. 

Parents and guardians at fault could face a fine between $5-$25 or up to 10 days in prison. 

HB 0031 received one amendment during second reading in the house by Sen. Larry Hicks, R-Baggs, which added a possible punishment of not more than 10 days of community service. 

“Oftentimes I think this is something that’s overlooked as a potential corrective measure for misbehavior,” Hicks said. 

The bill unanimously passed the senate on third reading; it remained the same throughout the house but narrowly passed with a 31-28 vote. 


Former Cowboy bartender charged with sexual battery, unlawful contact

JACKSON — Krmar Mislav, a former bartender at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual battery and one count of unlawful contact after being extradited from Florida.

A warrant for his arrest was issued Sept. 28, 2021, after he failed to appear in court or surrender his passport. Around Jan. 10, customs officers in Florida arrested Mislav as he was attempting to board a flight. He posted a $20,000 cash bond in Florida and surrendered his passport to Teton County authorities.

Both charges are misdemeanors stemming from a Sept. 3 incident at the Loaf N’ Jug in Jackson in which Mislav allegedly grabbed and kissed a store clerk despite her refusal of his advances.  Jackson Police Officer Wyatt Swicegood, who happened into the store after the incident, interviewed both the clerk and Mislav.  He subsequently issued Mislav a citation for unlawful contact and a criminal trespass notice. Mislav was then released.

That same day, Detective Jason Figueroa reviewed Swicegood’s report and body camera footage. Figueroa’s training and experience in investigating sexual assaults gave him reason to believe a criminal act more than unlawful contact might have been committed. He contacted the victim’s manager, who said she received a text from the victim stating that she had been sexually assaulted. After Figueroa’s investigation, officers added the elevated charge of sexual battery.

Mislav was arrested for sexual battery Sept. 17 and released the same weekend after posting a $1,000 cash bail. 

The count of sexual battery carries a possibility of one year of imprisonment with a fine of $1,000. Mislav’s jury trial is set for May 16. Lt. Russ Ruschill said Mislav’s current location is unknown, but the $20,000 bail he posted is being held to ensure he appears at his court date.