Wyoming News Update

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FOOTBALL PLAYER-SEXUAL ASSAULT-THE LATEST

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A former University of Wyoming football star accused of inappropriately touching two women has been sentenced to six months in jail after pleading no contest to two misdemeanors.

Carl Granderson was sentenced Thursday in Laramie, Wyoming, after entering the plea to the reduced charges of sexual battery and unlawful contact under a plea deal.

However, the Laramie Boomerang reports that Judge Tori Kricken rejected the punishment of one year on probation laid out in the deal. The defensive end was led away in handcuffs at the end of the hearing.

Two university students say Granderson touched them sexually while they slept at his apartment in 2018. They told Kricken the deal was too lenient and said Granderson should have been forced to plead guilty.

Granderson signed a free agent contract with the New Orleans Saints in April. The Saints didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the plea and sentence.

CHEYENNE HOMICIDE-TRIAL

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A jury has convicted a 78-year-old Wyoming man of second-degree murder for shooting and killing another man following an argument.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports Charles Richmond, of Cheyenne, was found guilty in Laramie County on Thursday in the Dec. 5 death of 41-year-old John Paul Birgenheier.

Prosecutors say Richmond had time to think about and plan the killing after the men's argument became physical.

Meanwhile, defense attorney Brian Quinn told jurors Richmond went to Birgenheier's camper to tell him to get off his property and brought his shotgun for protection. Quinn said Birgenheier — who was under the influence of meth — charged Richmond, prompting the gunfire.

Richmond, who shot Birgenheier three times with a shotgun, was facing a first-degree murder charge.

HOSPITAL SHOOTING-PLEA

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming man has entered a guilty plea to one charge related to a shooting at a hospital.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that 20-year-old Mitchell D. Taylor pleaded guilty Thursday to destroying property at Wyoming Medical Center March 4.

Taylor's attorney says he entered the plea because he is guilty of property destruction at the Casper hospital and wants to be held accountable.

Authorities say Taylor pointed a gun at two employees and fired seven times, missing both workers but damaging facility property.

The bullet damage to a door and wall was valued at more than $6,000.

Mitchell's trial on two counts of aggravated assault is scheduled to begin Monday.

Taylor has pleaded not guilty and says he was high on LSD and suicidal at the time.

DRUG COURT INCREASES CASELOAD

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming drug court plans to use grant money to more than double its treatment program's enrollment.

The Laramie Boomerang reported Thursday that Albany County Drug Court plans to raise participant numbers from 17 to 40 by October.

A supervisor says the program has received about $1.5 million from federal and state agencies.

Court officials say the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provided about 80% of funding in a five-year grant.

Officials say the state health department awarded the remaining amount in an 18-month grant that will not always be available.

The court provides treatment as an alternative to jail time for people arrested on drug and alcohol charges.

Officials say money has been used to hire a case manager, provide long-term treatment and support patients' expenses.

ELECTION 2020-WYOMING SENATE

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming says she is running for Senate.

The Republican said in a campaign video Thursday that she'll run for the seat U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi is vacating.

Lummis is running on a pro-President Donald Trump agenda of building a U.S.-Mexico border wall, reforming the nation's immigration system and confirming conservative judges.

The 64-year-old Lummis was elected to Congress in 2008 and decided not to run again in 2016. She's also a former state legislator and state treasurer.

Several other candidates are considering runs for the open seat. Other potential contenders for the Republican nomination are U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, Republican donor Foster Friess and businessman Bob Grady.

The Republican nominee will be favored to win the general election in conservative-leaning Wyoming.

MONTANA RIVER DEATH

LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP) — Authorities say a 74-year-old Texas man has been found dead in a river in southern Montana.

Park County Undersheriff Clay Herbst says the man was reported missing Wednesday night, and searchers used dogs and a helicopter equipped with an infrared system to comb the area. The man, whose name and hometown have not been released, was found dead in the Shields River early Thursday morning.

Investigators have not released any details about how he died.

SheridanWyoming.com

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