Utah man arrested after refusing to pay for hotel room

SHERIDAN — A 53-year-old-man from Utah was arrested Feb. 12 after allegedly refusing to pay Motel 8 on Main Street in Sheridan after staying at the motel for several days, according to court documents.

Court documents said Eric Koch stayed past the point of check out every day and would scream profanities through the door at the Motel 8 employee while also slamming the door in her face.

Law enforcement was called and, upon arrival, discovered he was intoxicated and provided a breath test that recorded .18 percent blood alcohol content.

Court documents said Koch also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest out of Colorado.

The man was arrested for breach of peace and defrauding an innkeeper.

He attended his initial appearance Feb. 14 in Sheridan County Circuit Court. A preliminary hearing has not yet been set.


Montana man marked as violent offender faced arraignment

SHERIDAN — Michael Bear Claw Jr., 29, from Lodge Grass, Montana, attended his initial appearance in Sheridan County Circuit Court Jan. 22.

The man allegedly stole a Glock 34 semi-automatic handgun from the Rocky Mountain Discount Sports store Jan. 18.

The 29-year-old man was charged with five misdemeanors which include theft of a gun, theft of fuel, eluding law enforcement, interference with a peace officer and driving under suspension. He was also charged with two felonies including unlawful possession of a firearm and theft of a car.

Bear Claw Jr. pleaded not guilty to each of the charges and asked to be moved back to his home state of Montana. The judge denied his request.

In his second initial appearance in circuit court, Sheridan County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Christopher LaRosa said the state will dismiss three of the five misdemeanor charges — one theft charge, interference with a peace officer and eluding police. Bear Claw Jr. still faces two felony counts for theft of a handgun and theft of a vehicle.

The man is being held at the Sheridan County Detention Center on a $25,000 cash-only bond for the two felony counts and an additional $7,500 cash-only bond for the two remaining misdemeanor counts.

Bear Claw Jr. was seen in 4th Judicial District Court Tuesday for his arraignment.