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Wyoming News Briefs: January 8, 2019

Former court clerk’s trial on theft scheduled for April

TORRINGTON – Former Goshen County District Court Clerk Kathi Rickard is scheduled to stand trial on April 27, 2020.

Rickard’s attorney, Cole Sherard, filed a waiver on his client’s behalf to waive her right to a speedy trial, which allowed the trial to be scheduled in April. Her trial is scheduled for five days.

Rickard is charged with six counts of felony theft. If she is found guilty, she could spend up to 60 years in prison. She is accused of stealing $209,228.86 from the clerk’s office during her four years as the court clerk.

Last month, Goshen County Clerk Cindy Kenyon told the Goshen County Board of Commissioners that Western Surety Company had agreed to payout some $19,000 after the county elected to invoke Rickard’s bond. Rickard did not fight the invocation.

Unfortunately, Rickard’s bond was less than 10 percent of what she is alleged to have stolen.

According to court documents, Rickard is alleged to have stolen more than $209,000 from the district court clerk’s office, and the county was forced to pay $100,000 just to keep its accounts current.

The Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation launched an investigation into Rickard’s records after several checks issued by the court bounced.

Agent Michael Carlson filed the affidavit of probable cause in the case after conducting a lengthy investigation into the court’s records.


Woman receives suspended sentence in OD death

GILLETTE (WNE) — The woman who helped Jacob Wallentine drive his dead girlfriend to an apartment building parking lot to conceal her overdose death has received a suspended sentence in the case.

Shalynn M. Muniz, 23, was charged with conspiring to dispose of a dead human body to conceal a felony, a charge carrying a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

District Judge John R. Perry sentenced her to three to six years in prison, but suspended it and a $10,000 fine in favor of three years of supervised probation. She also must complete outpatient substance abuse treatment.

Wallentine has been sentenced to up to 16 years in prison for his role in the October 2018 death of Tamlyn Delgado, 27.

According to various reports, Delgado had gone to his house Sept. 29 or 30, where they shared “a point,” or a 10th of a gram, of black tar heroin. An autopsy showed she also had taken meth and her death was the result of an overdose of the two.

Delgado was found Oct. 3 in her car in the parking lot with a tourniquet around her arm, a puncture mark in her right arm and a syringe in her lap. Prosecutors and law enforcement agencies say that Wallentine staged the scene to make it look like a suicide because he didn’t want to go to prison.


Jackson agrees to Snow King renovation plan

JACKSON (WNE) — Snow King and town officials have finally settled on an update to the resort’s master plan, ending more than a year and a half of negotiation and public review of the controversial document.

The process has seen ups and downs galore, sometimes seeming at risk of collapse. But cool heads prevailed Monday, when town councilors unanimously agreed on a plan to renovate the mountain and — theoretically — keep a struggling Snow King financially stable.

“I do think that this is going to be a win for the community as a whole,” Mayor Pete Muldoon said. “I know that we could continue to work on this for months and months and months … but I think we’ve reached the point of diminishing returns, and I think we’re at a good spot.

“We didn’t get everything we wanted,” he added.

The most notable concession was a zipline at the eastern side of the mountain, an addition that many Jacksonites fiercely opposed. But weighed against the benefits of a thriving resort, most elected officials agreed, it was a fair trade.


WWCC trustees to consider bachelor degree

ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — The Western Wyoming Community College Board of Trustees will consider going forward with plans for a bachelor of applied science degree at its regular meeting Jan. 9.

Previously, the WWCC bachelor of applied science task force developed a business degree with input from business leaders in the area as well as academic and service areas in the college. WWCC’s leadership team believes that the college is prepared to provide the degree, including all needed support services, according to agenda documents.

The WWCC board will consider moving forward with the BAS degree program as presented Thursday evening and then seek authorization for baccalaureate degree granting status with the Wyoming Community College Commission and the Higher Learning Commission.

Senate File 111 was passed by the Legislature on Feb. 27, 2019, and signed into law by Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon on March 15, 2019. The law authorizes Wyoming community colleges to offer applied baccalaureate programs, requires Wyoming’s Community College Commission to approve new applied baccalaureate programs offered at Wyoming community colleges, and conforms provisions of the Hathaway scholarship program to allow students enrolled in Wyoming community colleges’ applied baccalaureate programs to use the scholarship while enrolled. It created a path for WWCC to develop, seek authorization for, and implement a bachelor of applied science in business for students who wish to move into management positions.