From Wyoming News Exchange Newspapers 

State Briefs


December 24, 2020

Initial shooting review expected to be complete in 30 days

GILLETTE (WNE) — Crook County Attorney Joseph Baron said his office’s initial review of a Gillette officer-involved shooting is expected to be completed in the next 30 days.

Baron was named this week as special deputy county attorney in charge of reviewing the Nov. 13 shooting that involved an officer of the Gillette Police Department and Cody William Amman, 31, who was shot and killed in the incident.

Following the shooting, the unnamed officer was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, the Gillette Police Department and Baron all declined to name the officer involved in the shooting.

“Not at this time, and I may never do so,” Baron said in an email about identifying the officer.

Gillette Police Lt. Brent Wasson said Thursday the officer is expected to return to a restricted duty assignment next week.

At the same County Commission meeting where Baron was appointed, Deputy Campbell County Attorney Jenny Staeben said that the County Attorney’s Office couldn’t do the review because it has “conflicted out of it.”

“Either we’ve been involved in the prosecution of the deceased or the defense of the deceased,” she said.

From information about the incident that has been released so far, Amman, 31, reportedly shot at a Gillette police officer who then returned fire.

Amman was hit twice in the upper body with one of the shots to his left lung being fatal, Campbell County Coroner Paul Wallem has said.

Shooting in Lovell leaves one in hospital, one in custody

POWELL (WNE) — A man was in critical condition after being shot multiple times in Lovell early Sunday morning, police said. 

The suspect — who has not yet been publicly identified — was taken into custody hours later off the Greybull highway, east of Cody. 

According to Lovell Police Chief Dan Laffin, the shooting occurred shortly after midnight in the 400 block of Nevada Avenue. 

“Multiple shots were fired,” Laffin said, “with several of them striking the victim at close range.” 

While not releasing any details about the circumstances surrounding the attack, Laffin said “the suspect and victim were known to each other” and that there was “no threat to the citizens of Lovell or the surrounding communities.” 

Lovell police arrived at the scene within minutes, he said, but the suspect had already fled. While multiple law enforcement agencies began looking for the suspect, an ambulance and medical personnel from North Big Horn Hospital arrived “and provided life saving medical care,” Laffin said. 

After initially being treated at the Lovell hospital, the unidentified man was flown to a facility in Billings for additional treatment. 

Laffin said it was his understanding that the man was “in critical but stable condition” on Sunday. 

As for the assailant, Laffin said the man was “located and captured in Park County ... through exceptional communication and coordination” between his department and the Park County Sheriff’s Office, the Cody Police Department, the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office and the Wyoming Highway Patrol. 

Park County Sheriff Scott Steward said his office, Cody police and the highway patrol arrested the suspect off of U.S. Highway 14/16/20 in a joint operation, which took place around 6:45 a.m. Sunday. 

Laffin said the suspect will face “multiple felony charges.” 

In-patient services resume at Riverton hospital

RIVERTON (WNE) — In-patient services have resumed at the SageWest Health Care Riverton hospital.

Hospital administrators said an initiative by Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has provided supplemental staffing resources to support the influx of hospital patients due to the rapid acceleration of COVID-19 in the community.

“We would like to thank Gov. Gordon’s initiative, the Department of Health and the Wyoming Hospital Association for their staffing resource support,” SageWest Health Care CEO John Ferrelli said in a prepared statement.

All patients temporarily had been moved to Lander earlier this month.

Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and recent statewide hospitalizations, last week Gordon issued a statewide public-health order requiring the use of face coverings in almost all places outside of the home.

SageWest Health Care urged community members to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in public areas where social distancing is not easily achieved and use proper hand hygiene in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We call upon everyone to lead by example – wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing, and avoid group gatherings,” Ferrelli said. “Together, we can make a difference.”

Occupational fatalities increased in 2019

CASPER (WNE) — Wyoming has one of the worst rates of workplace-related deaths in the country, with the number of fatalities over three times the national average. New data published on occupational fatalities by the state’s Department of Workforce Services shows the troubling trend has continued to persist.

The number of fatalities inched up last year. In 2019, 32 workers died while on the job, an increase of one death compared to 2018. The majority of deaths, 65%, were a result of transportation incidents, including “highway crashes, pedestrian vehicular incidents, aircraft incidents and water vehicle incidents.” The most deaths happened in the trade, transportation and utilities sector.

In the period between 2003 and 2019, transportation incidents accounted for well over half of all deaths at work across all industries in Wyoming.

“An observation that I saw in this federal report today was that I think this is the third year in a row that the percentage attributed to transportation incidents has risen from the prior year,” Meredith Towle, the state occupational epidemiologist said.

About one-quarter of the workplace deaths in 2019 happened in the natural resources and mining sector.

Between 1992 and 2019, the state had an average of 33 workplace deaths.

The Research and Planning Division of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services analyzed the federal data through its Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Program. The effort is undertaken by both the state agency and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Voyeurism charges filed against man accused of kidnapping

GILLETTE (WNE) — A Campbell County man already accused of kidnapping his wife and leaving her naked at Walmart in September now faces voyeurism charges.

John Jesse Crump, 37, allegedly put a camera in a bedroom and a bathroom at his house to record family members staying there.

An SD card provided to the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office shows Crump placing a hidden camera in a closet, positioning it and capturing images of family members undressing and having intercourse. A different hidden camera in a bathroom showed a family member getting out of the shower, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The victims were unaware they were being filmed, according to the affidavit.

The suspected camera is disguised as an AC adapter plug, the affidavit said.

The maximum penalty for voyeurism is up to two years in prison and a $5000 fine on each count.

Crump waived his preliminary hearing on the charges in Circuit Court and was bound over to District Court, where a Dec. 28 arraignment has been scheduled for him to enter a plea.

He pleaded not guilty last month to a felony charge of kidnapping and two misdemeanor counts of battery. Kidnapping carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.


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