Police Make Arrests In Sheridan Homicide Investigation

Police have made three arrests in connection with the murder of a local businessman yesterday in Sheridan. Sheridan Police Chief Mike Card says the investigation will continue. 19-year-old Dennis Poitra, Jr., a 16-year-old Sheridan male, and a 15-year-old Sheridan male were all in custody by 8:30 last night. The names of the juvenile suspects cannot be released.

After he was shot in his own home, 79-year-old Robert Ernst was transported to Sheridan Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds and passed away.

Representatives from the state crime lab in Cheyenne arrived yesterday afternoon to assist in evidence collection. The Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office and Sheridan Area Search and Rescue helped with the investigation.

Card says the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation is also working the case. Nearly an entire shift of Sheridan Police officers who were not on duty were called in to help with the investigation.

Police have not said what the suspects’ motives may have been for the slaying.

Sheridan Police held a news conference about the homicide on Thursday morning.

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Bottom line, the boys chose to enter that home of their own free will. At what point do we hold people responsible for their choices. They did what they chose to do, I do feel bad for all the families involved but the three made their bed now they have to lie in it. When I was their age I too mad some bad choices, but I learned and made different choices, this is on them, PERIOD and now they must suffer the consequences

random act

I think the randomness of what these boys did is terribly disturbing, it have been anyone in this community that night. Hopefully these boys all spend the rest of their lives in jail and it serves as a lesson to anyone else who might contemplate such acts in our little community.

It Is Our Business

First of all my deepest heartfelt feelings go out to the Ernst family.
I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved family member. Though I never had the honor of knowing Mr. Ernst, I understand he was a very loved, and respected member of the community. My prayers go out to his wife, and loved ones.

Second for those of you who feel we should not be angry, or it is not our business, let me say to you, I live in this neighborhood, very close to where this horrendous crime happened. These boys murdered an innocent elderly man for $27.00. Angry does not come close to how I feel! I pray justice will be served, and these boys never get a second chance to hurt anyone else. I have no sympathy for these boys, as they sealed their fate when they decided to go out and rob people. I can not even imagine the terror Mrs. Ernst must have felt. Can you? Do you think she will ever again feel safe? The Ernst family will never get a second chance will they? I hope each of these boys receive the stiffest sentence allowed by law, they deserve nothing less. These boys had no regard for this mans life. It could have been your family, or my family. Think about that! This was a random act, these boys just didn't care! The entire community has been affected by this! So really it is everyone's business. We have the right to feel safe in our own homes.


Please visit PrayersForBobErnst.com. Your would be helpful for my grandmother, my mom, and my aunt. Thank your so much again for all your support.

Thank you

Thank you so much for all your support during this rough time.

Prayers for my Grandpa

Please pray for the Ernst family and leave a comment on PrayersForBobErnst.com


I just want tot say that everyone in Sheridan will be praying for. We are extremely sorry for you loss and your pain. I tried going to the website but was not able to find it so I just wanted to let you know, that God is with you and he will give you and your family strength that you didn't know you had. GOD BLESS!

Not in Sheridan

First, my condolences to the Ernst family, my prayers are with you. I have lived here since 1970, and I have always felt safe. This just dosn't happen here in Sheridan, but I think we had better wake up, this stuff goes on all the time in larger cities. We all know these kids knew right from wrong, or their parents and the community did not do their jobs. I have seen a lot of change in my 53 years, and it seems that the only ones with rights anymore are the criminals. People these days(some old enough to know better) have no respect for other peoples property, or other people in general. I admit I wanted my kids to have things I didn't have, but I also gave them work ethics and manners. Most kids these days get what ever they want, do as they please. Some(not all) parents think it's easier to give in than deal with the guilt of saying "no". And if they don't get what they want they will just take it. It seems they think we owe it to them. Believe me if they have to work for things they want in this life, they will appreciate it more. I hope for justice!


No sympathy here either. What are those 15 and 16 year olds doing out at 1 am? That is the parents fault. They are old enough to know better. And if they were on drugs, as a parent, how can you not know that your child is on drugs? Thats lack of parenting!! You dont need to spank your kids to get their attention, there are other ways. I hope that those kids never get out of jail, in fact I dont even want to pay for them to sit in there.

Thanks to the police department for your quick work here.

To the family,my prayers go out to you!!

wow i cant believe some

wow i cant believe some people. really? lack of parenting? haha u got kids? if u dont then u have no room to talk. if u do ... i bet they either have done drugs in the past, or do them currently. oh and either your well aware of it and dont wana admit it, or your just as bad and dont even kno. think about that why dontcha?

not kids

No sympathy here, no matter what their up bringing these "kids" chose to invade a mans home and take his life. Fifteen is old enough to know better. Really it's to bad that the victim wasn't able to use a firearm himself to remove these three vermin from the earth.


Please do not blame educators and schools. Parents have so much say in how and when we can discipline their children. I can't tell you the times I have called parents to inform them of their child's infractions to only be told that their child "would never do that" and at the end of the conversation. I feel it was my fault they lied, stole or were disrespectful. We don't call parents unless there is a reason. I have been asked to change final grades by parents because it is my fault they didn't make "A" honor roll. Don't blame us! We are doing the best we can.

I am another frustrated educator

I totally agree with frustrated educator. Another thing that was very frustrating as an educator is reporting abuse to family services, as we are required by law, only to be told they could really find no justification for the charges or it was just an accident. A couple of year's ago one of my student's showed me how the inside of his mouth had been cut when his father hit him. When I reported it family services did nothing and the little boy remained in his home because he wasn't in imminent danger. It wasn't more than a month later that the child's father nearly beat a man to death in town. The father was put in prison but last fall a "friend" of the child's mother hit him so hard that his eye was bruised and swollen four days after the incident when the child was allowed to come back to school. Family services just warned the mother not to let that man near her son again. That little boy is so angry now that I won't be surprised to see his name in the paper some day for some awful thing he has done.


That sure sounds like Department Family of Services to me. They are one class act.

Knowing right from wrong

I am familiar with the 19 year old arrested. Unfortuantely he did not have the best upbringing or many positive influences in his life. Still that is no excuse, he knew right from wrong. I am saddened what is now his future.

Todays youth

This was a very unfortunate incident. However it is hard to blame parents and schools for lack of disipline when we cannot even spank our children for fear of losing them to the system.
When I was growing up it wasn't wrong for my parents to disipline me with a spanking, that I deserved! Now Child services steps in, takes the child and the parent is left with a guilt that maybe he was wrong, and the child now knows that all he has to do is tell someone he is being abused and has his or her parent right where he wants them.
I am in no way on the side of abuse, but you have to let your children know that certain things are wrong and sometimes that means a spanking to get their attention.

Unfortunately these kids are

Unfortunately these kids are likely the product of drug use, bad parenting and an overall lack of discipline at both home and in school. God bless the family, and I do hope these thugs never see the light of a free day again during the remainder of their wasted and worthless lives.

Thanks to the police department for your quick work here.


Don't be so quick to add judgement on the parents. You easily add God's blessings to the family, which I do also, but there are many more that this will touch. I don't know these young people and I don't under any circumstances except what they have done, hate spreads hate and that is why we have alot that happens like it does.

To the family,my prayers go out to you. May you find comfort in the caring hands of our heavenly Father.

To law enforcement, thank you for all your hours and your never ending dediciation to protecting this community.


The assailants are so young!! What is happening to today's youth??? Where are the parents??? 15??? 16??? My heart is breaking.

Thank you to Sheridan PD and collaborators to finding and arresting the suspects so quickly!


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