Case of man accused of murdering mother heads to district court

CHEYENNE — After more than a year of competency reviews and mental health treatment, the murder case of James Wallace was bound over to Laramie County District Court on July 2, following his preliminary hearing.

Wallace was first charged with the murder of his 80-year-old mother, Carol Wallace, on May 15, 2019. Proceedings in the case were stalled when James Wallace's public defender, Brandon Booth, filed for competency evaluations for James Wallace.

James Wallace was taken to the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston for mental health treatment in order to restore his competency so he can proceed with the case. The last status hearing on the issue was held March 16, where it was determined Wallace was still unfit to proceed in his case due to his mental health.

His case had regular status updates every three months before it was recently determined he was fit to proceed.

According to court documents:

Laramie County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the 1100 block of Green Mountain Road, northwest of Cheyenne, for a possible weapons assault at 7:30 a.m. May 10, 2019.

A man called to report his brother, James Wallace, was "high on meth and freaking out, said he hit his mother with a hammer." When deputies arrived on scene, they discovered Carol Wallace's body face down in the basement on the east side of the home.

Detectives found multiple bloody drag marks leading to the body and a larger pool of blood in the basement.

Several small-caliber guns were found at the home, two of which had ammunition, according to court records. A large hammer found outside the room where Carol Wallace's body was found appeared to have blood and hair on it, as did a knife found in the vicinity.

After being taken into custody, detectives reported James Wallace was mumbling to himself in the interview room, talking about "robots and other things." During his mumbling, he said, "What was I do ... thinking? Yo mom, boom," and began to cry.

James Wallace told detectives he didn't kill his mother, but later pointed to himself and said, "I'm the one who killed the mother."

During a May 11 autopsy, pathologists said Carol Wallace suffered blunt force trauma to the head and chest, a gunshot wound to the head and a cutting wound on the chest. Pathologists also identified what they believed to be several defensible wounds on one of Carol Wallace's hands caused by a sharp object.

James Wallace had previously been arrested for domestic violence against Carol Wallace. He was released on bond March 25, 2019, in that case, and failed to appear for his May 6, 2019, court date.

He's currently being held in custody without bond.