Man faces forgery charges

SHERIDAN — A man facing felony forgery charges in 4th Judicial District Court pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Court documents said Shawn Gonzales posed as a William Moody out of California and, accompanied by Heather Madrid, stole a purse and jacket from Jayne Marynik while at McDonald’s in Gillette March 20. Purchases made in Sheridan County on Marynik’s credit cards exceeded $1,900.

Law enforcement officers obtained video footage of the theft at McDonald’s and purchases made at Walmart, Walgreens and Albertsons. Other purchases in Sheridan County were recorded at AutoZone and a hotel.

In making contact with Gonzales and Madrid, officers found a briefcase that contained identity cards and credit cards for 16 people other than Marynik, as well as tools used to defeat security tags on items for sale at retail stores.

Gonzales pleaded not guilty to all five charges Thursday — unlawful use of a credit card and four counts of forgery.

The court scheduled Gonzales’ trial to start Oct. 1, with a pretrial conference scheduled for Aug. 30 at 9 a.m. in district court.


Woman changes plea for fraud

SHERIDAN — Katy Lovato changed her plea in 4th Judicial District Court Thursday for one count of fraud.

Court documents said Lovato obtained unemployment benefits fraudulently from September to December 2016. Lovato resigned as an employee of the state Sept. 1, 2016, and filed for short-term unemployment.

Lovato set up what Judge John Fenn described as a detailed scheme of applying for unemployment at a time when she was not eligible. Lovato agreed and pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement settled by counsel.

Sheridan County Deputy and Prosecuting Attorney Christopher LaRosa said Lovato must pay back benefits received as a stipulation of the plea agreement.