Man recommended to Youthful Offender program

SHERIDAN — Brody Castellow, 19, was remanded into the custody of the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office after his probation was revoked during a hearing in 4th Judicial District Court Tuesday.

The court imposed Castellow’s original sentence of three to six years regarding three drug possession and delivery charges. Judge John Fenn said Castellow’s criminal history does not warrant further probation.

Castellow pleaded not guilty to all charges Nov. 30, 2018, but changed his pleas per an agreement March 12, which allowed the prison sentence to be suspended for a 10-month split sentence and three years of supervised probation.

Sheridan County Prosecuting Attorney Dianna Bennett filed a petition to revoke probation after Castellow allegedly admitted to using marijuana Nov. 9 and cocaine Nov. 25. Castellow admitted to the allegations in court.

Castellow testified on the stand that there was no excuse for his actions in a moment of weakness but was genuinely invested in his recovery prior to relapsing. Castellow claimed he came across the marijuana and cocaine while performing his job cleaning hotel rooms — a claim Bennett challenged in court.

Castellow’s probation officer, Debra Shaffer, testified that Castellow had experienced some “hiccups” during the course of his treatment and has had other substance abuse violations since 2017. Castellow has acknowledged that he wants to do better in life, Shaffer said.

During the defense’s cross examination, Shaffer said she hasn’t observed the same troubling behaviors other probation officers noted when Castellow started probation at 17 and that he had been attending his required meetings as of Oct. 16. Shaffer said Castellow must learn structure, discipline and accountability to be successful in substance abuse treatment.

Castellow said he didn’t reach out to his therapist when he was faced with the choice to relapse because his addiction overtakes him without warning. Castellow said there is no articulable reason why he chose to use substances other than the strength of his addiction and that he was upset about having to wait another year to enroll in college.

Bennett recommended Castellow be allowed to enroll in the Youthful Offender Bootcamp program through the Wyoming Department of Corrections, after which he can petition for a sentence reduction. Fenn said a reduced sentence following successful completion of the program is not a guarantee, but he has never denied a petition.

Bennett said Castellow’s young age has been considered in many other cases. Castellow neglected the benefit of deferred prosecution and probation and hasn’t been subject to substantial consequences for his actions thus far, she said.

Castellow’s attorney said his client had been clean and sober for 90 days and was doing well considering he developed an addiction to drugs in his youth. He encouraged the court to consider high-level, intensive inpatient treatment to address Castellow’s specific substance abuse and mental health issues.

For some addicts, the fear of the addiction itself is greater than the fear of incarceration, Keller said. Castellow asked the court to grant an allowance for intensive treatment. Fenn said Castellow has an opportunity to earn the privilege of attending college after serving his time.


One of theft trio to appear for sentencing

SHERIDAN — Michael Demontiney, 34, will appear in 4th Judicial District Court Thursday for sentencing regarding felony and misdemeanor shoplifting charges.

Demontiney was charged with conspiracy to commit shoplifting, felony shoplifting and misdemeanor shoplifting — each determined by the value of stolen items.

Demontiney is one of three brothers who participated in a series of thefts in May including a bottle of liquor from Rendezvous Liquor and about $1,800 worth of goods from Walmart, according to court documents.

Demontiney admitted to driving the vehicle that was identified by an eye witness to the liquor theft and observed by officers in the Walmart parking lot when the brothers exited Walmart with stolen items. Demontiney told officers that each brother had contributed to taking goods from Walmart and drinking the stolen liquor.

Shoplifting items with a value of more than $1,000 carries potential punishments of up to 10 years incarceration and up to $10,000 in fines. Shoplifting items valued at less than $1,000 carries potential punishments of up to six months incarceration and up to $1,000 in fines.

Demontiney pleaded not guilty to all charges June 20 but changed his pleas to the felony and misdemeanor shoplifting charges per an agreement Aug. 29. If the court accepts the terms of the agreement, the conspiracy charge would be dismissed and Demontiney would be sentenced to two to four years incarceration for the felony and 90 days incarceration for the misdemeanor, both suspended for a total of two years of supervised probation.

Demontiney would also be required to pay $1,837.75 in restitution to Walmart and $15.90 to Rendezvous Liquor.

A bench warrant was issued for Demontiney Oct. 8 after he allegedly failed to appear for a presentence investigation interview Sept. 11. Demontiney admitted to the allegations, according to court documents.

An order of release from the Sheridan County Detention Center was issued Oct. 28 with a $2,500 unsecured bond.