The three Sheridan teenagers accused of murdering businessman Robert Ernst last month are set to make another appearance in Sheridan County Circuit Court today.
15-year-old Dharminder Vir Sen, 16-year-old Wyatt Bear Cloud, and 19-year-old Dennis Poitra, Jr. will also face an additional charge of Aggravated Burglary. The new charge relates to Sen and Bear Cloud’s alleged theft of the 9mm handgun used in the burglary. The pair are accused of breaking into a vehicle registered to Tom and Terry Hatch and taking a 9mm Highpoint semi-automatic pistol from the glove compartment. They are being charged with Aggravated Burglary because they armed themselves in the commission of a felony.
The second count of Aggravated Burglary charged against Poitra stems from his alleged invasion of the home of John Bennett earlier in the night that Ernst was killed. Nothing was taken from the Bennett home but it is believed that Poitra was carrying the firearm when he entered that residence.
The First Degree Murder Charges against Bear Cloud and Poitra have also been amended slightly to reflect their role as accessories before the fact. That amendment does not affect their preliminary hearings set for this afternoon. The punishment for accessory to murder is the same as for the murder charge.
All three men face a possible life sentence on the murder charges and up to 25 years in prison for each of the burglary counts.
If Judge Sampson finds that a crime was committed and the three defendants probably did it, the trio will make their next appearance in 4th Judicial District Court to enter their pleas at an arraignment proceeding.