Wyoming News Briefs SEPTEMBER 18
September 12, 2019
Wyoming top state for child fatalities in wrecks
TORRINGTON (WNE) — Wyoming is in the top five states for child fatality rates in car crashes, according to an analysis from the safety research company Safewise.
At 6.44 deaths per 100,000 children, Wyoming was ahead of New Mexico, the next most-dangerous state at 5.69. The District of Columbia and New Hampshire ranked lowest, with fewer than 0.15 deaths per 100,000 children.
The report, based on crash dat a from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, advocated for proper car seat use to prevent unnecessary fatalities.
“Until your kids are 13, the back seat is the best place for them to sit,” the report said.
Children aged three and under should sit in a rear-facing car seat; children aged four to seven should sit in a forward-facing car seat; and children between the ages of eight and 12 will need a booster seat.
“Troopers are actively working to educate the public on proper placement of child seats and making sure that children are properly secured,” said Sergeant Jeremy Beck of the Wyoming Highway Patrol.
He said the WHP holds education seminars for people to have their car seats inspected. Enforcement is also a priority.
“When they come across children that are in a motor vehicle that possibly could be buckled up incorrectly or the child seat is not secured properly, [troopers] will take it upon themselves that that is fixed,” he said.
California man charged after 241 pounds of pot found in trailer
DOUGLAS (WNE) — A California man was charged Sept. 6 with multiple felony drug charges after a traffic stop on I-25.
Boby James Ferregno, 44, of Newport Beach, California, was driving a white freightliner tractor with a white trailer when another driver made a Report Every Drunk Driver Immediately (REDDI) report.
A Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper located the vehicle traveling southbound on I-25 at mile post 148. The trooper observed the tractor and trailer unit cross over the white fog line several times, according to a police affidavit.
A bill of lading was found which stated that the truck was carrying children’s toys but there was no shipping seal on the back door but it was sealed with heavy duty locks. Ferregno stated he was traveling from southern California to Minneapolis, Minnesota, which alerted the trooper as California is the origin of controlled substances and Minneapolis is a known destination for controlled substances, according to the affidavit.
The trooper was assisted by Platte County K9 Unit where the K9 alerted to the odor of narcotics in the trailer, according to the affidavit.
After a search of the trailer, 15 large duffle bags containing raw marijuana, THC oil and THC candies were found. The approximate weights were 241 pounds of raw marijuana was, 496 grams of wax THC, 344 packages of THC gummies and 2,450 THC vape cartridges, according to the affidavit.
Ferregno has been bound over to the Eighth Judicial District Court to stand trial.
Judge rejects plea agreement in assault case
CHEYENNE (WNE) — The plea deal offered in the case where a man allegedly kidnapped, sexually assaulted and beat his then-wife was rejected Tuesday by Laramie County District Court Judge Steven K. Sharpe.
Daniel Doby’s change-of-plea hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, but after Sharpe said he wasn’t willing to go along with the plea agreement, Doby declined to change his plea.
The plea agreement said Doby would only have to give an Alford plea to one count of strangulation and pay a $10,000 fine, with $5,000 suspended. All other charges are to be dismissed by the state, along with a separate case in which Doby allegedly violated a protection order by having contact with the alleged victim, Jennie Bessert.
Doby was arrested July 24, 2017, and charged with kidnapping with inflicting bodily injury, first-degree sexual assault, aggravated assault and battery with a threat and deadly weapon, two counts of applying pressure on the throat or neck, blocking the nose or mouth, interference with an emergency call and domestic battery.
His trial is now scheduled for Dec. 10, and prosecuting attorney Caitlin Harper has taken over the case, since former prosecutor Angela Dougherty died Friday.
Doby’s attorney, Robert T. Moxley, said he remains cautiously optimistic of the possibility of resolving the case, but said he also is not afraid of taking the case to trial.
But the judge said he simply refused to go along with the existing plea deal.
“I will not follow the stipulated plea agreement in this case,” Sharpe said. “The court has a responsibility to justice.”
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to run exclusive on wind power
JACKSON (WNE) — Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has announced that it will now use exclusively renewable energy to power its operations, following in the footsteps of other major Jackson Hole organizations in recent years.
The switch includes everything from ski lifts to base area operations, according to a press release. Everything will run on wind power from the Horse Butte Wind Farm in Idaho, through Lower Valley Energy’s Green Power program.
“We are constantly seeking ways to reduce our impact on the environment,” Chief Brand Officer Tyler LaMotte said in the release, “and making the transition to running Jackson Hole’s full mountain operations on wind powered energy is a big step that aligns with JHMR’s core values.”
Lower Valley Energy President Jim Webb also lauded the move toward sustainability.
"We have been working on this green power partnership for some time and are very excited this came to fruition with such a great local industry leader," he said in the release.
In roughly the past year, Jackson Hole Airport and Snow King Mountain Resort have also made the change to green power, as have hundreds of other Teton County residents and businesses.
Man pleads not guilty in stabbing of dog
GILLETTE (WNE) — The man accused of stabbing his son’s 6-month-old German shepherd because it had defecated on the floor has a trial scheduled for Dec. 2 in District Court.
Richard S. Pope Jr., 46, has pleaded not guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony.
His son had gone to the Skate Park on July 10 and left the puppy at their home on Vivian Street. He got a text message from Pope at about 7:30 p.m. that he was upset about the dog, and then another message to come get his dog because Pope was going to stab him.
When he arrived back at the apartment, he found the dog curled up between the dryers and his dad standing there with a bloody knife, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
He took the dog to a vet clinic for treatment of the wound to the back that penetrated 2 to 3 inches. Police suspect a 4- to 6-inch blade allegedly was used, according to the affidavit.
Pope was arrested the next day.
Aggravated cruelty to animals has a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Black bear euthanized in Dayton
SHERIDAN (WNE) — An adult male black bear was euthanized by Wyoming Game and Fish personnel in Dayton early Monday morning after receiving repeated food rewards over the past several days, according to a press release from WGFD.
WGFD received the first report of a bear in Dayton on Sept. 9, when a resident near Scott Park called to say a bear had gotten into garbage. The next day, the department received a second report of a bear getting into garbage two blocks away from the first incident.
As reports and sightings continued in the following days, traps were set for the bear, but the effort was unsuccessful. Additionally, WGFD personnel spent several hours going door-to-door in Dayton, notifying residents of the situation and asking them to secure attractants.
At 10:30 p.m. Sunday, a bear was reported walking down Smith Street in Dayton, the press release stated. Responding personnel were unable to locate the bear. At 12:30 a.m. Monday, another sighting of the bear was reported. WGFD personnel located the bear in an unattached garage near a residence. The decision was made to euthanize the bear because of its documented history of getting into trash and willingness to stay in town.
Man dies in ATV collision
AFTON (WNE) — On September 12, 2019, a fatal crash occurred around milepost 138 on US 191 north of Pinedale, Wyoming. Around 1:50 p.m., Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers were dispatched to the area for a motor vehicle collision.
A 2006 Polaris Sportsman ATV was traveling westbound on a private roadway. The driver of the Polaris failed to see a northbound 2015 Subaru WRX and pulled into the northbound lane. The Subaru collided with the Polaris before crossing into the southbound lane and colliding with a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado.
The driver of the Polaris has been identified as 93-year-old Bondurant, Wyoming resident William D. Saunders. Saunders was not wearing a helmet and transported to the St. Johns Memorial Hospital, where he succumbed to injuries sustained in the crash.
The driver of the Subaru has been identified as 26-year-old Denver, Colorado resident Sean Jordan. Jordan was wearing his seatbelt and not injured in the crash. The first passenger Subaru has been identified as 29-year-old Denver, Colorado resident Meghan Ceselsky. Ceselsky was wearing her seatbelt and transported to the St. Johns Memorial Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash.
The driver in the Chevrolet has been identified as 50-year-old Jackson, Wyoming resident John Clover. Clover was wearing his seatbelt and transported by private vehicle to St. Johns Memorial Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash.
Driver inattention on the part of Saunders is being investigated as a possible contributing factor.