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State Briefs


November 14, 2019

Man accused of setting up camera in women’s bathroom

POWELL (WNE) — A Powell man is alleged to have set up a camera in the women’s bathroom at his former Powell workplace, capturing images of four of his female co-workers in states of undress. 

Fifty-year-old Scott G. Abraham, who lives between Lovell and Byron, was arrested on the allegations Wednesday and made bail on Friday. He’s facing six felony charges. 

An investigation by Powell police concluded that Abraham staged a camera in the women’s bathroom at the building where he worked on at least two occasions: in August 2018 — when he secretly photographed four women using the toilet — and again this past June, when an employee spotted the camera as she changed clothes. 

Abraham allegedly admitted to placing the camera when confronted by his boss and then Powell police in mid-June. 

“… I was stupid enough to put a camera in the women’s bathroom as an experiment, I guess you would say,” he told Powell Police Investigator Chris Wallace, according to an affidavit Wallace submitted in support of the case. 

Wallace said he wound up finding 102,511 images, 52 videos, 10 audio recordings and other files on a pair of memory cards in the mini video camera found in the bathroom and in a digital audio recorder.

Abraham was released from the Park County Detention Center on Friday after posting $10,000. While free on bond, Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters ordered Abraham to have no contact with the victims in the case “in any way, shape or form,” among other conditions.

Man accused of assaulting person with machete deemed competent

CHEYENNE – A man accused of attacking a person with a machete has been deemed competent to stand trial, it was announced Thursday morning in Laramie County District Court.

Lamont Dion Walker has been charged with aggravated assault and battery with bodily injury with a deadly weapon. At his arraignment on June 20, he entered a plea of not guilty by way of mental illness.

Walker’s defense attorney raised no objections to the competency ruling at his status hearing.

According to court documents:

Walker said he struck the victim with the machete because of “reports of dead bodies being dumped at Walmart,” and he was protecting himself.

On the night of the incident, Walker allegedly got out of his semitruck, struck the victim — whom he called the devil — on the arm. The incident occurred Feb. 5 on North Industrial Road.

The victim was able to run away and call police. Witnesses at the scene were able to verify the victim’s claims. When officers arrived on scene, the victim had a long red mark on the arm from being hit with the machete.

CWD found in area near Clark

CLARK — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department confirmed that several deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Deer Hunt Area 105. 

The positive tests come from hunter-harvested mule deer and white-tailed bucks and road-killed mule deer. All positive deer were located north and northeast of Clark in the Badger Basin and Big Sand Coulee areas. The deer were harvested in early November.

Deer Hunt Area 105 is one of the areas with increased CWD monitoring this hunting season. Game and Fish aimed to collect samples from at least 200 adult mule deer bucks from both the Clarks Fork the Shoshone deer herds. Continued monitoring of CWD over time is important to understand the potential impacts of the disease as well as evaluate future management actions. 

To ensure that hunters are informed, Game and Fish announces when CWD is found in a new hunt area. The Centers for Disease Control recommends hunters do not consume any animal that is obviously ill or tests positive for CWD. 

A map of CWD endemic areas is available on the Game and Fish website. The disease is fatal to deer, elk and moose. 

The Game and Fish is concerned about CWD and how it may affect the future of Wyoming’s wildlife. The department is updating its CWD plan through a collaborative public process. 

Man sentenced for hitting another with rifle

CODY (WNE) — A 22-year-old Cody man will receive 43 days in jail for breaking another man’s arm and fracturing his skull with an AR-15, swinging the weapon like a baseball bat. Tristen Bishop also must pay $4,976.62 restitution for the injuries and property damage he caused.

That victim, William Walbert, initially started the confrontation, threatening Bishop with the gun.

Apparently the two men had a history because of a disagreement because of a female love interest. When Walbert started “brake checking” Bishop’s truck from his vehicle at Red Lake, the two then got out of their vehicles and the fight ensued.

At his sentencing Thursday, a snippet of the confrontation that had been filmed was shown to the courtroom. In the March 2018 altercation, Bishop can be seen engaging Walbert in a short scuffle, followed by hitting Walbert with the weapon.

“This is not something that is a minor offense,” Jack Hatfield, Park County prosecuting attorney said. “The defendant caused danger of death or bodily injury.”

Bishop will be credited for 47 days he has already served in prison but was immediately remanded to the Park County Detention Center after Judge Bill Simpson made his decision.

“I can only hope the two of you will be able to think about the events in a light to make sure you never do it again,” Simpson said.

Walbert faced no criminal charges from the incident.

Firefighter killed in car crash

CHEYENNE – A Laramie County firefighter was killed in an off-duty accident around 3:43 p.m. Thursday on Interstate 80 near mile marker 342 west of Cheyenne.

Firefighter John L. Kennedy, 22, of Cheyenne died at the scene due to injuries suffered during the crash. He was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident, according to a Wyoming Highway Patrol news release.

Kennedy was driving a 2006 Kia SUV and was traveling westbound on I-80 when he merged from the left lane, across the right lane and into the merge lane. When the Kia entered the merge lane, it hit the back of a 2016 international commercial vehicle.

The driver of the 2016 commercial vehicle has been identified as Joseph Philip, 48, of Ontario, Canada. He, too, was wearing his seat belt, and was not injured in the crash.

Kennedy may have been using his cellphone and speeding at the time of the crash, and both are being investigated as possible contributing factors. He is the 134th person to die on Wyoming roadways in 2019.

Man convicted of abusing 9-year-old

LARAMIE (WNE) — A 21-year-old Laramie man was convicted of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor last week after taking an Alford plea, a legal term meaning the defendant retains his assertion of innocence while pleading guilty because he acknowledges a jury is likely to convict him.

Zachary Skagen was charged with the crime for inflicting penetrative sexual abuse on a nine-year-old girl during at least three separate incidences in July 2018.

Second-degree sexual abuse can carry a prison term of up to 20 years, but Skagen’s plea deal means prosecutors will limit their recommendation for a sentence to 13-15 years imprisonment.

Skagen was arrested in November 2018, but has since been released on a partial house arrest after a $25,000 cash bond was posted.

He is not allowed to leave the house without the supervision of the adult who’s supervising him.

Since his initial release, he’s been living on Garfield Street near the University of Wyoming’s campus, but he’s now set to move into a different house in West Laramie.

James Pracheil, an officer with the Laramie Police Department, conducted an interview with the victim in October 2018. Skagen corroborated the details of the sex abuse to Pracheil.

“I don’t know why I did it,” he reportedly told a family member.

The first incident of abuse took place in Las Vegas, while the rest occurred in Laramie, according to court documents.


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