Wyoming News Update

Posted in

JUDGE SENTENCING EXTENSION

RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) — A former Wyoming tribal court judge has received a four-month extension pushing her sentencing date to February after she pleaded guilty to drug delivery charges.

The Daily Ranger reported Friday that former Wind River Tribal Court head judge Terri Smith was scheduled to be sentenced this week but was granted an extension Tuesday.

Officials say Smith's attorneys requested the extension Oct. 25 because she is undergoing inpatient treatment and is not expected to complete treatment until December.

Officials say the new sentence date is Feb. 18.

Authorities say Smith pleaded guilty for cocaine and oxycodone distribution in March with her sister Jerri Smith of Utah.

Authorities say Terri Smith resigned her position as head judge, which adjudicates Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho members on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

ALCOHOL TAX

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — An interim legislative panel has rejected a proposal that would increase the state tax on alcohol to fund substance abuse treatment programs in Wyoming.

The proposed bill offered by Republican Sen. Charlie Scott, of Casper, was voted down 7-6 Wednesday by the Joint Committee on Labor, Health and Social Services.

Proponents of the bill noted that Wyoming's high suicide rate indicates the continuing substance problems facing the state and that substance abuse programs in the state had seen large funding cuts in recent years.

However, opponents contended that the tax increase was unfair and unnecessary because current revenues were sufficient to address the substance abuse programs.

LINCOLN COUNTY DEATHS

KEMMERER, Wyo. (AP) — A couple has been found dead of gunshot wounds in their home in western Wyoming.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says it is investigating but it appears no one else is involved in the incident and a firearm was recovered near the bodies.

The agency says 71-year-old Gary Dale Hodges and 46-year-old Memorie Jean Hodges were found dead Monday afternoon when deputies went to their home in Star Valley Ranch for a welfare check.

Sheriff Shane Johnson tells KTWO-AM in Casper that they had been dead for roughly seven to 10 days before deputies arrived.

Johnson says his deputies are not looking for anyone involved in the incident.

CATTLE ON THE INTERSTATE

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — At least 200 head of cattle hampered traffic on Interstate 90 near Lodge Grass in southern Montana.

The Montana Department of Transportation says local, state and tribal agencies responded Thursday morning, and travelers experienced reduced speeds and delays about 2 miles (3 kilometers) southeast of the Lodge Grass interchange and about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of the Wyoming border.

The agency says at least 100 cow-calf pairs were reported on and near the highway at 7:45 a.m. The Billings Gazette reports the road was cleared about an hour later.

PEOPLE-KANYE WEST

NEW YORK (AP) — Kanye West says he plans to move manufacturing of his Yeezy shoe line to North and South America.

The rapper made the comments Thursday during a surprise appearance at Fast Company's Innovation Festival in New York.

The rapper and shoe designer told a crowd of about 500 that he plans that Yeezy manufacturing will happen at his ranch in Cody, Wyoming.

West stuck mostly to fashion, but he also joined other celebrities in calling for the release of Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed.

Rihanna and other celebrities have called on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to free Reed based on new evidence that includes the affidavit of a fellow inmate implicating another man.

Reed is scheduled for execution Nov. 20 in the abduction, rape and strangling of 19-year-old Stacey Stites in 1996.

VEHICULAR HOMICIDE-SENTENCE

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — A truck driver has been sentenced to between 10 and 20 years in prison for falling asleep at the wheel of her semitractor-trailer and causing a fatal crash in Wyoming.

The Laramie Boomerang reports 48-year-old Tonya Hightower was sentenced Tuesday for the March 2018 accident that killed 57-year-old Vidal Madera of Laramie.

The commercial truck driver from Kansas pleaded not guilty to aggravated homicide by vehicle.

A jury found her guilty in August after determining her decision to drive on Interstate 80 while knowingly fatigued constituted recklessness.

Hightower told a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper at the scene that she had taken leftover pills from a 2017 surgery including hydrocodone, a prescription opioid pain medication.

Court records say she did not test positive for narcotics when blood was drawn later.

SheridanWyoming.com

Send us a News Tip!

Have a news tip?
Use our anonymous form to let us know.