Language barrier results in ‘creativity of court’

SHERIDAN — Victor Garcia was arrested on suspicion of domestic battery and on a warrant for his arrest out of California Aug. 12.

Law enforcement officers responded to a call Aug. 11 from Sheridan Dispatch for domestic battery the previous evening, court documents said.

Garcia ran when Sheridan County Sheriff’s deputies approached him near his residence but complied with officers when Deputy Devereaux Johnson drew his Taser and ordered Garcia to the ground, according to court documents.

Garcia appeared in court via video feed from Sheridan County Detention Center Aug. 15 for a hearing during which Sheridan County Circuit Court Judge Shelley Cundiff approved the alleged victim’s request for an order of protection. The order will expire or can be renewed after six months. Cundiff used Google Translate to communicate to Garcia, who does not speak fluent English, during the proceedings. Garcia’s arraignment was delayed Aug. 13 until a translator could be found but a translator was not present at the hearing Aug 15.

Cundiff also placed the alleged victim, who speaks Spanish, under oath to translate court proceedings and Garcia’s responses during the hearing.

“This is really creativity of court,” Cundiff said.


Man released on telephonic threats to attend Set Free Church 

SHERIDAN — Coy Payne was released from jail Aug. 13 to attend the Set Free Church program in Riverton after being charged with threatening violence over the phone. Payne pleaded guilty to telephonic threats March 21, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, court documents said.

The sentence was suspended and he was sentenced to one year unsupervised probation and successful completion of the Veteran’s Administration treatment program in Sheridan County Circuit Court.

Payne violated the terms of his probation April 8, when he was discharged from the VA treatment program for threatening physical violence toward a staff member, court documents said.

The affidavit said law enforcement officers know that Payne has physically assaulted others before and has been charged with other counts of battery, domestic battery and assault.

A letter to the court from Pastor Richard Mills said the Set Free Church is, “a faith-based program, our goals are to teach and learn how to live, according to the grace of Jesus Christ,” and that Payne had been accepted into the program.