What began as a calm, respectful, rational arraignment Thursday in 4th Judicial District Court ended with the defendant shouting obscenities at the Court and threatening Judge John Fenn.
John Brown, who at his initial appearance in Circuit Court made a similar scene, but who calmed down by his Preliminary Hearing, plead guilty Thursday to two counts of Felony Larceny for stealing a pick-up, an ATV and various tools from Mike Helvey, for whom Brown worked in July 2007. Normally, the felonies carry a potential sentence of ten years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Per a plea agreement with the State, Brown could face only two-to-four years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary on each count, to run concurrently.
Judge Fenn said there would be a pre-sentence investigation, and sentencing is scheduled for July 15th, 2010. When Judge Fenn asked County Attorney Matt Redle -- who was sitting in for Diana Bennett -- about bond, Redle said that given the 58-page criminal history on Brown spanning three decades and at least ten states, and because he was extradited on this case from Oregon, he proved to be a flight risk, Redle recommended he remain in the Sheridan County Detention Center until sentencing.
That is when Brown's demeanor turned on a dime, and the Sheriff's deputy and Detention Officer were both needed to escort Brown from the courtroom. Brown was angry that medical attention he'd needed twice since in jail here did not, in his opinion, help his health issues, and he doesn't want to stay in Sheridan until July.
Judge Fenn is deliberating whether or not to hold Brown in Contempt of Court.