Riverton police continue investigation into double murder

RIVERTON (WNE) — Police on Wednesday said there could be a suspect at large related to an ongoing double homicide investigation in Riverton.

The case was initiated at about 12:35 p.m. Saturday, when the Riverton Police Department responded to a report that there were two deceased or unresponsive subjects in a residence in the 1100 block of East Main Street.

The RPD released the names of the deceased Monday: Jocelyn Watt and Rudy Perez, both 30, both of Riverton.

A death notice for Watt indicates she died at her home.

On Wednesday, RPD Capt. Todd Byerly told The Ranger that officials have not eliminated the possibility that a suspect may be on the loose related to the deaths.

He did not provide any additional updates.

“We are forging forward with the case and extremely busy working every aspect of the crime,” he said.

The incident is listed as a homicide on RPD reports.


Former Qwest official named to Gordon’s cabinet

CHEYENNE (WNE) — Gov. Mark Gordon has made several new additions to his Cabinet, including naming a new director for the state Department of Health.

Gordon has tabbed Mike Ceballos, a former Wyoming state president for Qwest Communications International, to run one of the state’s largest departments. Ceballos ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for state superintendent of public instruction in 2014 against current Republican Superintendent Jillian Balow.

Ceballos will replace current Health Department Director Tom Forslund, who announced this week he will step down at the end of this year’s legislative session.

Gordon said he picked Ceballos because of his experience in the corporate world, dealing with a large organization, and his depth of experience in the IT sector.

“These are all very important components for building out our medical capacity,” Gordon said at a Thursday news conference. “What most attracted me was his ability and interest in learning.”

Gordon also named Lynn Budd as the new head of Wyoming’s Office of Homeland Security, where she currently acts as the security unit chief. Leland Christensen, the former state legislator who ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer, was named deputy director for Homeland Security.


Overdose death trial moves to district court

GILLETTE (WNE) — Jacob Wallentine, 27, was bound over to District Court on Wednesday for his alleged role in the October death of Tamlyn Delgado, 27.

He will stand trial for manslaughter, delivery of a controlled substance and disposing of a body to conceal a felony. If convicted, he could face up to 50 years in prison.

Delgado’s body was found Oct. 3 in the driver’s seat of her car with a tourniquet around her right arm and a syringe in her lap, according to testimony from DCI special agent Kyle Borgialli.

An autopsy showed she died of a recreational drug overdose, but the state Division of Criminal Investigations determined, using information from confidential sources, that Wallentine allegedly staged the death scene to avoid criminal charges. Delgado had gone to Wallentine’s Mecent Avenue home Sept. 30 to do meth and/or heroin, according to information Borgialli retrieved from her phone. That night, a confidential source saw Wallentine and Delgado go into the bathroom where he appeared to inject her with drugs. She eventually passed out, and by the next day she hadn’t woken up.

Instead of calling 911, Wallentine asked friends for Narcan to reverse the overdose. He and several of the confidential sources attempted CPR before placing her in a cold bath, but she was unresponsive. Wallentine then discussed placing Delgado in her car and driving her to a remote county road, but decided to take her to the Eagles Nest Apartments. He dressed her, carried her outside wrapped in a sheet, placed her in the driver’s seat and sat on top of her as he drove across Gillette, Borgialli said.


Rape sentence challenged

LARAMIE (WNE) — A Laramie man who was sentenced last week to 13-15 years imprisonment is now challenging that sentence.

Thirty-year-old Devon Thauriaux served as his own attorney in the final month before his Jan. 2 sentencing. During that period, he futilely pleaded for District Court Judge Tori Kricken to let him renege on his September no contest plea.

Since being sentenced last week, Thauriaux has continued to file numerous handwritten motions, indicating his plan to appeal his conviction.

In the weeks before his sentencing, Thauriaux unsuccessfully tried to subpoena certain information he believed could prove ineffectiveness of counsel from his previous attorney, Brian Quinn.

Kricken’s denials of those motions, Thauriaux argued in a Jan. 4 filing, were an “obvious violation of due process.”

“This case needs to be remanded for an evidentiary hearing,” he said.

Kricken has so far ignored those filings but did issue an order Monday that Thauriaux should be appointed appellant counsel through the Wyoming Public Defenders Office.

Thauriaux was convicted for raping an 18-year-old photographer he lured to an Airbnb on Comanche Drive.


Green River legislator tries to legalize hemp extract

ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — A Sweetwater County legislator is making another push to legalize hemp extract in Wyoming.

Rep. Stan Blake, D-Green River, is the main sponsor behind House Bill 100, which was introduced into the House on Thursday.

The measure would allow residents 18 years old and older to possess or use hemp extract, which comes from the marijuana/hemp plant. It would also eliminate registration requirements and authorizes a parent or legal guardian to administer the extract to a minor or vulnerable adult.

Blake introduced two bills related to hemp in 2018. One was the same measure he is sponsoring, House Bill 64, which died in the Senate. The other, House Bill 62, would have provided for the administration of hemp extract by a parent to an adult dependent and modified physician authorization required to administer the product.


From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers