NEWS BRIEFS for Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018
From Wyoming News Exchange newspapers
UW football player misses hearing
LARAMIE (WNE) — In what was described as a miscommunication between Youhanna Ghaifan’s attorneys, the suspended University of Wyoming defensive tackle missed his Wednesday disposition hearing, in which a defendant typically enters a plea.
Ghaifan faces misdemeanor charges in Fort Collins, Colorado, after he allegedly tried to force himself on a hotel employee before UW’s annual game against Colorado State University.
Attorneys in his case said Tuesday that plea negotiations are ongoing.
Larimer County Court Judge Thomas Lynch considered issuing a warrant for Ghaifan’s arrest Wednesday for failure to appear at the hearing. Instead, the judge rescheduled the disposition hearing for Jan. 2.
If Ghaifan fails to appear a second time, a warrant will be issued, Lynch said.
Ghaifan was placed on an indefinite suspension after the Oct. 26 incident at the Fort Collins Marriott.
According to a police report from Fort Collins Police Services, a housekeeper said Ghaifan walked through a door where she was cleaning, pinned her to a wall and attempted to kiss her.
When police tried to talk to Ghaifan about the incident, he refused to talk and invoked his right to an attorney. Ghaifan was issued a summons for two misdemeanors: false imprisonment and harassment.
Ghaifan was a first team All-Mountain pick following his sophomore season with the Cowboys. Before being suspended, Ghaifan started all eight games for the Cowboys this season and and was fifth on the team in total tackles with 34 and first in tackles for loss with eight.
Former legislator asks for early probation release
POWELL (WNE) — Former state lawmaker Sam Krone — on supervised probation for stealing more than $9,600 from a local lawyer’s group — is asking a judge to let him off probation a couple years early.
In his first of three years of supervised probation, Krone “has been highly successful ... and a model probationer,” according to a court filing from his defense attorney, Charles Pelkey of Laramie.
In requesting that Krone be discharged from probation now, Pelkey said that his client “has attained rehabilitation.”
Last month’s filing also says that Krone, of Cody, would like to “pursue employment opportunities that are currently unavailable due to his probationary status.”
Prosecutors from the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, however, are objecting to an early release. Deputy Attorney General Christyne Martens wrote in a Wednesday filing that Krone’s original sentence was appropriate.
Martens also said that, while Krone has been compliant with the terms of his probation, she plans to introduce testimony from his probation agent “that Krone does not seem to fully understand the gravity of his actions or fully demonstrate remorse for them.”
It was in October 2017 that District Judge Marvin Tyler ordered Krone to serve 15 days in jail, 20 days of house arrest, 240 hours of community service and three years of supervised probation. That was for stealing more than $9,600 from the Park County Bar Association between 2010 and 2013.
In May, the Wyoming Supreme Court disbarred Krone for his crimes.
Plea change in vehicular homicide case
GREYBULL (WNE) — More than a year after being charged with vehicular homicide, Emmanuel Shuman has changed his plea.
Shuman pleaded no contest in the Fifth Judicial District Court on the afternoon of Dec. 4 before Judge Bobbi Overfield.
The change of plea came after the parties came to a plea agreement. Timothy Blatt, Shuman’s attorney, laid out the terms before the court. Shuman would plea no contest to
aggravated homicide by vehicle. He would be fined $5,000 that would be suspended. Shuman would also serve nine to 12 years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary that would serve concurrently with another case.
Shuman had previously been convicted of aggravated assault and robbery and was serving probation when he was charged with homicide. A petition to revoke probation was filed in the case. As part of the plea agreement, Shuman would admit to the charges filed in the petition and have his sentence reinstated with credit for time served.
The case originated on May 30 when Shuman, his girlfriend Letticia Zubia, MacKenzie McDonald and Dakota Vollan were in a car crash on Orchard Bench Road. They had consumed alcohol prior to the accident.
Zubia was lifeflighted with serious head injuries and succumbed on June 7 from her injuries.
When blood had been drawn on Shuman, his blood alcohol content was 0.2 percent, nearly three times the legal limit.
Jackson airport switches to green power
JACKSON (WNE) — Jackson Hole Airport will shift to sustainable energy starting this winter, becoming the largest organization in the region to go green.
With all its electricity coming from Lower Valley Energy, the airport’s commitment equates to the energy use of 300 average Jackson homes, surpassing the roughly 200 homes the town and county governments each represent.
“It puts them in league with some of the leading destinations when it comes to sustainable energy,” said Phil Cameron, director of Energy Conservation Works.
As the first stop in Jackson Hole for many people, Cameron said, the airport influences how people perceive the region. He said the airport now has the chance to embody the local value of environmental stewardship to its customers.
Cameron said the airport has made other sustainability pushes with help from his organization and Lower Valley, including alternative fuels, waste diversion and electric vehicle charging.
Energy Conservation Works and Lower Valley Energy began working together in September 2017 to boost participation in the Green Power program, and the efforts have swayed hundreds of residents and business owners.
Cameron said 300 homes have switched to green power in the past year, as well as a handful of businesses. Altogether, with the airport’s commitment, an amount of energy equal to the use of about 700 homes is now derived largely from renewable power generated at the Horse Butte Wind Farm outside Idaho Falls.