NEWS BRIEFS for Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020

Longtime Powell professor killed in accident

POWELL (WNE) — A longtime professor at Northwest College died last week after being run over by a vehicle on a Coulter Avenue sidewalk. 

Dennis Brophy, 75, had been walking in front of Rimrock Tire when a customer pulled out of the business’s parking lot and struck him, said Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt. 

The driver of the vehicle, 21-year-old Shay Dillon of Powell, had been attempting to make a right-hand turn onto the state highway. 

Dillon reported that he had been looking to the left (east) for oncoming traffic and never saw Brophy approaching from the right-hand side (west) of his car, Eckerdt said. 

Brophy was trapped under Dillon’s 2007 Toyota Camry and dragged a short distance into the highway. Emergency responders were summoned to the scene shortly before 3 p.m. Sept. 23.

Brophy was ultimately taken to a hospital in Billings, where he died of his injuries, Eckerdt said.

He added that neither alcohol nor drug use is suspected in the crash.

Wednesday’s accident was the third traffic-related fatality in Park County this year. A one-vehicle rollover on U.S. Highway 14/16/20 east of Cody claimed the life of a 48-year-old Cody woman in July and a threevehicle crash in Cody killed an 89-year-old man in August.


Man pleads guilty after being found with 27 pounds of pot

CHEYENNE (WNE) — An Illinois man facing charges after he was pulled over by WHP troopers with nearly 30 pounds of marijuana in his car entered a plea agreement during proceedings Monday. 

Through the agreement reached with the state, Michael Ligurotis, 36, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of marijuana possession with the intent to deliver, while the other charge of marijuana possession would be dismissed. He would serve three years of supervised probation under the agreement. 

The charges were connected to an incident that occurred May 17. That evening, Ligurotis was pulled over in Laramie County by a WHP trooper for speeding, at which point a K9 unit detected the possibility of a controlled substance.

Law enforcement officials then conducted a probable cause search of Ligurotis's car, and they found roughly 27 pounds of marijuana packaged in the trunk. 

Though Ligurotis reached a plea agreement that was entered Monday, District Judge Steven Sharpe reminded him that the court could still impose a different sentence, if it was deemed appropriate.  


Man pleads not guilty in year-long oxycodone investigation

RIVERTON (WNE) — A Riverton man could be imprisoned for 20 years and fined $25,000 if convicted of unlawful delivery of Oxycodone.

The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation's interest in Shane Allen Longtine, 59, began more than a year ago.

The investigation resulted in a confidential informant being given state funds to buy Oxycodone pills from Longtine in July 2019

The police informant completed the deal at Longtine's home in Riverton, turning over the police pills to police.

About six weeks later, the laboratory examination report confirmed that the pills contained Oxycodone.

Longtine was transferred to Fremont County District Court for felony-level prosecution on Aug. 28, 2020, and pleaded "not guilty" on Sept. 17.

Prosecution is ongoing.


Woman sentenced to probation in horse theft case

PINEDALE (WNE) — The separate cases of Thomas W. Hickman and his wife Katherine Entsminger Hickman could be wrapped up as of Oct. 1 with his 9th District Court sentencing hearing set for that morning. 

The couple was extradited from Maryland to Sublette County earlier this year after felony theft and horse-rustling charges were filed against them in Sublette County. The horse-rustling charge was later dropped against Hickman and evolved into a felony theft charge for Entsminger, bought three quarter horses and registered them in her name instead of their employer’s – Boulder Lake Lodge – in 2018. 

On Sept. 17, Entsminger-Hickman appeared before Judge Marv Tyler via videoconference for her sentencing with a plea agreement that recommended three years of supervised probation for two guilty pleas and two charges dismissed. 

Entsminger and her husband were charged with felony theft and felony conspiracy to commit theft in regard to their removal of tack, household goods, saddles and other items when they left Boulder Lake Lodge after being fired, records show. 

Under the plea agreement, Entsminger pleaded guilty on Aug. 27 to the first felony charge, to which her husband had changed his plea to “no contest.” Their conspiracy charges would be dismissed; she also pleaded guilty to the felony misuse of funds. The theft charge for the horses’ purchase would also be dismissed. 

Hickman changed his “not guilty” plea to “no contest” as agreed to one charge and Melinkovich and public defender Elisabeth Trefonas asked Judge Tyler to dismiss the conspiracy felony.

Hickman’s sentencing is set for Wednesday.