NEWS BRIEFS from Wyoming


Former councilman sentenced to probation in sexual abuse case

ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — Former Green River City Councilman Allan Wilson received five years supervised probation at his sentencing March 21. This sentencing came after Wilson pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor as part of a plea agreement last 

December.

His sentencing comes with a 301 deferral, Chief Deputy County Attorney Teresa Thybo told the Rocket-Miner on Tuesday. This means that even though Wilson has pleaded guilty to a felony, he can receive probation since he has no previous criminal record. If he successfully completes 

his probation, his guilty plea will not be entered.

Wilson, 57, made the plea last December. During the change of plea proceedings, Wilson admitted to inappropriately touching the victim for sexual gratification. The victim was under the age of 13 at the time, and Wilson said the act occurred in Sweetwater County.

Wilson was first indicted in January 2018 for four counts of sexual abuse of a minor occurring in Sweetwater and Lincoln counties. Wilson pleaded not guilty to all four charges in June 2018. The charges were combined in the Sweetwater County 3rd District Court of Judge Nena James 

in July 2018.

The terms of Wilson's probation include that he have no contact with the victim or any of the victim's family. Additionally, he cannot have contact with any minor under the age of 18 without supervision and his probation officer's approval. An exception will be made so that he can 

have contact with his grandchildren.

Wilson must also undergo sexual offender evaluation and pay $295 in victims compensation fees, court fees and assessments.

———

Outfitter fined $5,000 in fatal bear attack

JACKSON (WNE) — Workplace safety regulators are not faulting Martin Outfitters for training-, preparedness- or manpower-related factors in the death of guide Mark Uptain, who was fatally mauled by a grizzly bear.

A “notification of penalty” document that the Wyoming office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration provided to the News&Guide on Tuesday afternoon details a single violation that came with a $5,000 penalty: not reporting the high-profile death within eight hours of a workplace fatality. That violation was classified as “other-than-serious.”

A second “other-than serious” violation that carried no fine was issued for failing to verify the existence of a required workplace hazard assessment.

Martin Outfitters owner Dan Martin did not respond to an interview request for this story. Wyoming-OSHA investigators were unavailable for an interview Tuesday.

Martin has until Thursday to pay or contest the $5,000 penalty, according to the notice. Contesting fines is the standard, Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Communications Manager Ty Stockton said, because businesses that don’t contest have no possible way to reduce the fine.

Wyoming-OSHA’s penalty document includes no mention or discussion of workplace safety factors related to Uptain’s death. The 37-year-old Jackson Hole resident was with a client from Florida on Sept. 14, butchering a bull elk carcass, when an approximately 10-year-old sow grizzly charged on the slopes of Terrace Mountain.

Wyoming-OSHA officials told the News&Guide shortly after Uptain’s death that investigators would probe what happened in the field, the guide’s training and what level of training is customary for the company’s guides. 

———

Two plead not guilty in drug bust

RAWLINS (WNE) — Two of the three suspects involved in a criminal case that originally stemmed from a loose case full of thousands of dollars being discovered by a plow driver along U.S Interstate 80 pleaded not guilty in Carbon County District Court.

On Friday, Gabriel Horton Kreb, 36, of Portland, Ore., pleaded not guilty to a mixture of 12 drug-related felony and misdemeanor charges. He’s suspected of transporting a large amount of marijuana as well as possessing pure MDMA, or ecstasy, with intent to deliver, hallucinogenic mushrooms and LSD.

On Monday, suspected fellow accomplice Nicole Catherine Williams, 33, also of Portland, Ore., pleaded not guilty to nine drug-related charges similar to Kreb’s case; however, she was not suspected of any LSD-related charges.

If convicted, all suspects face substantial time behind bars – with each felony charge posing either a five- or 10-year maximum – including thousands of dollars in penalties.

On Jan. 31, the Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigations was notified of a large quantity of U.S. currency being found by a Wyoming Department of Transportation plow truck driver, which later turned out to be $53,844.

A WYDOT supervisor received a call that same day from a group of travelers inquiring about the case. This later turned out to be Kreb, Williams and Cory Aldo Baxter of Ohio.

When the three arrived at WYDOT offices in Elk Mountain, they were met by Wyoming Highway Patrol officers. A search of their vehicle yielded 81 plastic bags of suspected marijuana and about 259 vials of liquid THC, among other items.

———

WWC tuition lower than reported by education group

ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — Sometimes numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Last week, SR Education Group sent out a ranking of 2019’s best online community college’s in Wyoming. Western Wyoming Community College was ranked No. 1. Additionally, the group’s website listing the rankings posted WWCC’s tuition at $7,344, stating, “All tuition numbers were 

manually collected and verified.”

WWCC President Karla Leach said the number is not accurate.

“Western is very honored to be nationally recognized for excellence and value. These comments seem to come out as manna from heaven. We are never contacted to verify data and we research the methodology each time one comes out,” Leach said.

Leach, in response to the data put out by SR Education Group, said Western’s online in-state tuition cost is $2,256 annually, making Western the lowest cost online programming in the state.

Philip Parnell, vice president for Student Services and Athletics, said these tuition fees do not include student fees. He also noted these tuition fees make Western “the lowest cost online programming in the state.”

Leach said she was surprised Western was ranked first based on the chart that was provided in SR’s ranking, since in her estimation the tuition listed wouldn’t indicate the ranking.

“As you can imagine, we will be working to find out where they gathered the wrong information. We have found that SR Education Group focuses on funneling students into proprietary schools,” she said.

Advertisement