Wyoming news briefs for August 16

Man enters no contest plea in stabbing

CHEYENNE — A man accused of stabbing his then-girlfriend, resulting in severe blood loss, entered a no-contest plea Thursday in Laramie County District Court.

Anthony Brassard pleaded no contest to second-degree attempted murder as part of a plea agreement. 

Brassard was originally charged with first-degree attempted murder late last summer.

At 3:49 a.m. Aug. 30, 2020, Cheyenne Police officers responded to a call after a woman was heard crying for help from an apartment and blood was seen around the apartment door, according to court documents.

Officers found a woman with apparent stab wounds suffering severe blood loss. At the same time, Brassard was also inside the apartment and slashing at officers with a pizza cutter, claiming to have a firearm.

The woman was taken to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. Before being transported to surgery, she made the statement “Anthony did it,” and said Brassard had tried to force her to take pills orally and nasally, according to court documents.

CRMC medical staff estimated that the woman had lost half of her blood volume, plus another 500 milliliters of blood in the operating room, and they found evidence of a white powder around her mouth and nose, according to court documents. Police later learned the woman was stabbed and cut with a knife 28 to 30 times on her legs, arms, chest and back, with a stab wound to the center of her chest that sliced her spleen.


Family alleges wrongful arrest by Park Co. officers

CASPER — A Missouri family is suing law enforcement in Park County, alleging they were held at gunpoint by officers for more than an hour without cause while leaving Yellowstone National Park in 2017. 

Brett and Genalyn Hemry filed a complaint in federal court in July seeking damages for the incident. 

According to the lawsuit, Park Service rangers and Park County sheriff’s deputies allegedly pulled the Hemrys over while searching for a triple homicide suspect whose car was found in the Bridger-Teton National Forest about a week prior. 

Dispatch records cited in the complaint state rangers had flagged the family’s car, a white Toyota with Missouri plates, as the suspect’s potential vehicle.

 Throughout the roughly hour and a half the suit states the family was held, the Hemrys allege they weren’t given any chance to identify themselves and weren’t told the reason for their detainment until being released. 

Brett and Genalyn Hemry were also traveling with an underage child, who according to the lawsuit was detained in the family’s car while the parents were reportedly handcuffed and put into sheriff’s patrol cars. 

The Hemrys are now making three claims against the rangers and sheriff’s deputies — alleging false arrest, excessive force and false imprisonment. They’re also calling for the matter and amount of damages to be decided by a jury.


Woman who shot estranged husband sentenced to prison

GILLETTE — A Gillette woman who shot her estranged husband in November 2019 was sentenced to 20 to 28 years in prison Thursday afternoon.

At her sentencing hearing in District Judge Thomas W. Rumpke’s courtroom, Paulette Iliff, 56, said she had planned to shoot herself in front of him before she decided to shoot him instead.

Five days before the shooting, her husband of more than 30 years, Robert Iliff, told her that he’d met someone else and that he wanted a divorce.

Iliff said her “life was gone” when she got the news. In the days that followed, she made threats toward her husband, ruined his phone, followed him around town, stole money and valuable items from him and hid in his truck.

Early morning Nov. 11, 2019, she drove through snowy weather from Wheatland to Gillette, parked at the City Pool, walked to the house that the two of them lived in at the time, and waited for him to come home, said prosecuting attorney Nathan Henkes.

Robert got home at about 6:30 a.m. He changed into his work clothes and went to the kitchen to get his medication. He saw movement out of the corner of his eye, and when he turned around he saw Paulette standing in the hallway with a gun.

Before pulling the trigger, she said, “I hope you enjoyed your sleepover,” Gillette Police Cpl. Dan Stroup said at her preliminary hearing.

The bullet went through the left side of Robert’s chest and exited through his left armpit, Henkes said.


WYDOT to reduce speed limit on Teton Pass

JACKSON — Pending internal approvals, the Wyoming Department of Transportation is set to reduce the speed limit on Teton Pass from 55 to 45 mph.

The proposed change is the result of a speed study that the Teton County Board of County Commissioners and Teton Backcountry Alliance requested from WYDOT in July 2020.

The impetus was concern about safety at the top of the pass where recreationists and motorists intersect, particularly in the winter when people park up high to ski.

WYDOT District Traffic Engineer Darin Kaufman said the speed study showed that people typically drive the upper elevations of the pass at lower speeds, and the department generally starts to set speed limits within 5 mph of how quickly 85% of people drive along a given byway.

But it also takes other factors into consideration. Kaufman said both applied on Teton Pass.

“People were driving that speed already, and also it’s a different environment,” he said. “The grade and the curves, they kind of control what’s going on regardless of anything else.”

On Teton Pass people were generally driving slower than the posted 55 mph speed limit at the top of the pass, the study showed.

The fastest that 85 percent of drivers rounded the summit was 49 mph in the summer and 42 mph in the winter.

That and road conditions like the grade and curvature on Teton Pass gave WYDOT the data needed to lower the speed.