Woman sentenced for conspiracy to deliver
SHERIDAN — Bonnie Brown was sentenced to three to five years incarceration, suspended, for three years of supervised probation for conspiracy to deliver marijuana in 4th Judicial Court Thursday. Per a plea agreement, count one, conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, was dismissed. Brown received credit for three days of time served in jail.
Conspiracy to deliver marijuana carries potential punishments of up to 10 years incarceration and up to $10,000 in fines. Conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine carries potential punishments of up to 20 years incarceration and up to $25,000 in fines.
Brown pleaded not guilty to both charges Sept. 24, 2019 but changed her pleas per the agreement Dec. 19, 2019.
Law enforcement identified Brown as one involved with Emmett Shepherd in the sale and distribution of marijuana and methamphetamine in the Sheridan area from April to May 2019, according to court documents. Brown admitted to selling and trading both substances as a financial substitute for employment.
Defense attorney Erin Wardell said Brown’s limited criminal history and proactive attitude with her treatment evaluations supported the agreement. Brown took initiative to set herself on the right path independently, Wardell said.
Man sentenced for burglary
SHERIDAN — The court accepted the terms of a plea agreement and Jason Thorgeirson was sentenced to three years of supervised probation in lieu of four to seven years incarceration for burglary in 4th Judicial District Court Thursday. He received credit for 12 days served in jail.
Thorgeirson pleaded not guilty to the charge Sept. 5, 2019 but changed his plea per the agreement Dec. 19, 2019.
Law enforcement responded to a report of theft Aug. 4, 2019, according to court documents. The reporting party claimed items had been stolen from his storage shed and he suspected Thorgeirson, who denied involvement in the theft when initially contacted by law enforcement.
Later in the investigation, a pawn broker identified Thorgeirson as the man who had pawned items stolen from the shed. Thorgeirson later admitted to theft and to pawning items the same day.
A state trial brief filed Dec. 16, 2019 listed witness testimony from Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office deputies and exhibits including stolen items obtained from a pawn broker, a pawn receipt, dash camera video of the investigation and photos of the storage shed. The trial was vacated when a plea agreement was reached.
Sheridan County Prosecuting Attorney Dianna Bennett said despite Thorgeirson’s criminal history, the nature of the offense led the state to offer a suspended sentence.
Defense attorney Erin Wardell said Thorgeirson’s criminal history “informed” the lengthy incarceration sentence — he has a previous felony from age 19 and some misdemeanors since. However, Thorgeirson took responsibility for his actions quickly and will seize the opportunity to move on from his mistakes with probation, Wardell said.
Man sentenced for child endangerment
SHERIDAN — The court accepted the terms of a plea agreement and Dylan Weaver was sentenced to three years of supervised probation in lieu of two to four years incarceration, with nine days credit for time served, for child endangerment and methamphetamine use in 4th Judicial District Court Thursday.
Child endangerment is a felony, which carries potential punishment of up to five years incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines. Being under the influence of methamphetamine is a misdemeanor, which carries potential punishments of up to six months incarceration and up to $750 in fines.
Weaver pleaded not guilty to both charges June 27, 2019 but changed his pleas to guilty Dec. 19, 2019 per the agreement. A bench warrant was issued for alleged bond violations July 5, 2019 and quashed Aug. 6, 2019.
An infant was inside the residence where law enforcement officers discovered marijuana and drug paraphernalia in June, according to court documents.
A reporting party told law enforcement Weaver had experienced hallucinations that someone was attempting to kill him while high on methamphetamine inside the home.
As a condition of his probation, Weaver is required to complete intensive outpatient treatment in Natrona County and maintain no contact with the reporting party and infant except for supervised custody exchanges — which Probation and Parole can eliminate if necessary, Judge William Edelman said.
Man receives hefty sentence for burglary, theft
SHERIDAN — Stephen Peak was sentenced to six to 10 years incarceration for theft in 4th Judicial District Court Thursday. The sentence will run concurrent to two other bond revocation sentences of six to nine years. Theft is a felony, which carries potential punishments of up to 10 years incarceration and up to $10,000 in fines.
Sheridan County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Christopher LaRosa said Peak stole items after working for the victim in early December. Peak was subject to GPS monitoring and law enforcement obtained a warrant to monitor phone records throughout December, when indications arose that Peak had committed theft Dec. 8, Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Devereaux Johnson said in testimony.
Law enforcement discovered Peak had attempted to sell trading cards on Sheridan UpCycle that had been reported stolen. The value of the cards is estimated at $3,000. One Josh Allen prism card valued at $100 is still missing. Peak claimed he obtained other stolen items legally — including laptops and jewelry — from a storage unit his boss had purchased, Johnson said.
Monitoring Peak’s texts revealed attempts to sell a shotgun, ammunition, a kayak and tools. The shotgun was not registered in the National Crime Information Center as stolen and law enforcement has been unable to identify from where the firearm was obtained, Johnson said. The victim had hired Peak for home maintenance work and observed suspicious activity. Peak was hanging around a part of the house the victim didn’t expect him to be, he said.
LaRosa said Peak has a history of using employment as a way to steal things, including a vehicle burglary at the Wyoming Girl’s School that led to Peak’s arrest in a previous conviction. LaRosa cited similar offenses from elsewhere in the state where Peak had taken advantage of vulnerable people. LaRosa referenced Edelman’s prior words about Peak, which indicated he would not be lenient with imposing the maximum possible sentence if Peak failed on probation.
“This is deja vu for me,” LaRosa said.
Traci Farris, who supervised Peak on the incarceration diversion program, testified that Peak becomes easily overwhelmed with employment and often obtained side work to his full-time jobs, which led him into people’s homes.
Farris said she had long been concerned about the origin of what Peak sold on Sheridan UpCycle but he would always offer reasonable explanations for how he obtained goods — further supported by GPS tracking information.
Because IDP is designed to hold offenders highly accountable for their actions, Peak’s continued criminal actions show “manipulation, premeditation at its finest,” Farris said. LaRosa said Peak was semi-cooperative by volunteering cellphone evidence, but he labeled Peak a burglar incapable of stopping his behavior. The primary harm done in this case was to Peak’s family, LaRosa said.
“Prison is for people like that,” LaRosa said.
During cross examination, defense attorney Erin Wardell clarified Farris’ October-December 2019 report on Peak only referenced her concerns about his family situation, not concerns about potential theft.
Wardell said six to 10 years is significantly higher than other property crime cases Edelman had presided over in the past — however, Peak was prepared to begin his prison sentence and move on, she said.
Wardell said Peak easily and readily admitted to wrongdoing. While still significant, six to nine years encompasses the totality of his criminal behavior, she said. Peak’s significant mental health issues will take more intervention than originally anticipated to resolve, Wardell said.
Edelman imposed the maximum sentence for the theft charge — six to 10 years — concurrent to other bond violation charges. A secondary theft charge was dismissed.
Edelman said he does not offer second chances when a defendant is given the option to benefit from programming and doesn’t take advantage of it — “I’m a man of my word,” he told LaRosa.
Sentencing continued in two cases
SHERIDAN — Stormy Redman’s sentencing hearing was rescheduled to March 17 at 10:30 a.m. Redman faces a felony charge for allegedly delivering methamphetamine.
Redman initially pleaded not guilty to the charge Sept. 17, 2019 but changed her pleas to guilty Dec. 19, 2019 per an agreement.
Kathy Flippin’s sentencing hearing was rescheduled due to inclement weather complications. Flippin faces up to 10 years incarceration and up to $10,000 in fines for delivery of a controlled substance, Ritalin.
Flippin pleaded not guilty to the charge July 25, 2019 but changed her pleas per an agreement Dec. 19, 2019. No rescheduling date has been filed in 4th Judicial District Court as of Thursday afternoon.