crime

A federal judge has overturned the death penalty for Dale Wayne Eaton, Wyoming's lone death row inmate.

U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne on Thursday stated Wyoming has a choice of either granting a new sentencing proceeding for Eaton within 120 days in Natrona County or keeping him locked up for life without parole.

The 69-year-old Eaton was sentenced to death in 2004 in state court for the 1988 rape and murder of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell of Billings, Montana.

An investigation into the shooting of a Centennial pastor has concluded that the so called victim turned the gun on himself. According to Albany County Undersheriff Rob Debree says misdemeanor charges have been filed against 44 year old Dennis Lynn Davis for a false report.

Debree says that eight deputies were sent to investigate a burglary and shooting at the Centennial Valley Community Church on Tuesday evening. Davis says he was shot by a burglar during a struggle. He was airlifted to the hospital.  

The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation is looking into allegations of criminal misconduct within the Albany County Attorney’s office. 

D-C-I Deputy Director Kebin Haller says that no charges have been filed, but D-C-I investigators have confiscated electronic devices and smart tablets as part of the investigation.  He says the criminal investigation has been ongoing for for a month. 

Wyoming is now offering a new program to victims of crimes that will allow them to request a facilitated meeting with the offender of the crime. The Victim Offender Dialogue Program is the first of its kind in the state for adults.

The Wyoming Senate killed a bill that would have required DNA testing for those charged with a crime. Information from the DNA tests would then be stored in a database.  Senator Drew Perkins of Casper told the Senate that such action violates people's rights.

"Through technology we continue to find more, and more, and more, and more information about us that's stored.  We already have in our statutes that if you are convicted of a crime of felony, we store and maintain that DNA.  This takes it another step further."

A former hospital administrator who pleaded guilty to defrauding hospitals in Wyoming and Indiana has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal on Monday also ordered Paul Cardwell to pay restitution of nearly $1.7 million.

Cardwell pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Prosecutors say Cardwell took nearly $850,000 from Powell Valley Healthcare in 2011 and earlier took about the same amount from White County Memorial Hospital in Monticello, Ind.

Wyoming continues to incarcerate youth at a rate much higher than the national average.  That’s according to a new study by the National Juvenile Justice Network. 

Since 2011, the number of kids held in detention centers has dropped dramatically across the nation. But not in Wyoming. New research shows Wyoming's youth confinement rate was 2.2 times the national average during that period.

A national, bi-partisan commission has released a report about safety in Indian Country. Tribal communities are often more dangerous than non-Native communities. The report - A Roadmap for Making Native America Safer - looks at Native American communities nationwide and makes recommendations for closing those gaps in public safety. Affie Ellis is from Wyoming and she sits on the Indian Law and Order Commission, which put out the report. She spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov about the Commission’s findings.

Wyoming is working on establishing its first adult restorative justice program. Restorative justice is a method of dealing with a crime that seeks to repair the damage done, rather than just punish the perpetrator, and to give more of a voice to the victim. It often involves a mediated meeting between victim and perpetrator.

There are already restorative justice programs in the state for juvenile offenders. But Victim Services Coordinator, Randi Losalu, says this is the first adult program she knows of in Wyoming. 

Linnaea Kimble for Snowy Range Music Festival

Here’s a new song that was released in September at a Crimestoppers fundraiser in New Orleans. Another Murder in New Orleans is the first song New Orleans music legends Dr. John and Bobby Rush have recorded together. The songwriter is Laramie native Carl Gustafson, and as he explains, the song came out of a meeting with producer Donald Markowitz, who had Gustafson leaf through the New Orleans newspaper, the Times-Picayune…

Two teens have been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to killing three members of a Wyoming family.
 
     Tanner Vanpelt and Stephen Hammer appeared in court in Cody Tuesday to change their pleas under a deal with prosecutors in the killings of 40-year-old Ildiko Freitas and her parents in the northwestern Wyoming town of Clark.
 
     The Powell Tribune  reports Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric agreed to seek life sentences instead of the death penalty with the support of law enforcement and Freitas' family.
 

A federal judge has given lawyers until early next year to submit written arguments about whether Wyoming's lone death row inmate should be put to death.

Restorative justice is an approach to dealing with crime that put the victim of the crime front and center and considers how the offense affected the community, rather than looking at it as an isolated incident. Wyoming Public Radio has a three part series about restorative justice efforts in Wyoming, starting with a case study. To hear Part 3 of the series, click here.

Wyoming to develop victim-offender dialog program

Jun 17, 2013

The Wyoming Board of Parole has approved the establishment of a victim-offender dialog program. The program will create an avenue for perpetrators and victims of a crime to meet in person and talk, which advocates say helps the healing process for both parties.

The Board of Parole’s Victim Services Coordinator, Randi Losalu, says this approach gives victims of crimes more of an opportunity to be heard. 

The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 requires record-keeping of federal agencies’ activities with violent crime occurring in Indian Land. In compliance with the law, the Department of Justice has released a report detailing investigations and prosecutions of violent crimes in tribal communities for 2011 and 2012.

The report says federal efforts to prioritize criminal investigations and prosecutions in Indian Country have led to a 54% increase in that caseload.

Katie’s Law, a bill that would have allowed the state to collect DNA of people arrested for certain felonies will not move forward in the Wyoming House.

A committee voted 5-3 to kill the bill, which is named after a 22-year-old New Mexico resident whose killer was identified based on DNA matching. Proponents of the bill argued that DNA is the modern equivalent of a fingerprint.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a parolee who says he was forcibly catheterized to provide a urine sample.  

Wyoming A-C-L-U Attorney Jennifer Horvath says Parolee Daniel Delaney did consent to testing without search warrants, but he had submitted a breath and blood sample.

Wyoming’s U.S. Attorney Kip Crofts says an increased presence in law enforcement on the Wind River Reservation is having an effect on high levels of crime there.

Crofts, along with members of the legislature’s Tribal Select and Joint Judiciary Interim Committees, met on Wind River earlier this week to discuss issues related to crime and Crofts says continued federal and state support may be the key to addressing the issue.

The Laramie Police Department says it arrested a Fort Collins, Colorado, man for attempted bank robbery of the Wells Fargo Bank in Laramie early Tuesday morning.  Police says the suspect is 23 year old Jacob Scott Anderson.  Anderson  was arrested after confronting a Wells Fargo Bank Employee with a handgun in the parking lot as the employee was opening the bank.

A Wyoming man is accused of breaking U.S. trade sanctions by selling diesel engine parts to a company in Syria.
The Casper Star-Tribune reported Monday that Matt Kallgren of Afton allegedly sold more than $40,000
worth of parts to an unnamed company despite warnings about the sanctions. He didn't respond to the newspaper's request for comment.