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Wyoming News Briefs: November 4, 2019

SVI Media is part of the Wyoming News Exchange. These stories come courtesy of the WNE.


Former tribal judge’s sentencing postponed

RIVERTON (WNE) — Although she was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday for cocaine and oxycodone distribution, the former head judge for Wind River Tribal Court has received a last-minute extension.

Terri Smith’s new sentence date is Feb. 18; she is scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. that day in the United States District Court of Wyoming in Cheyenne.

Smith’s attorneys asked for the continuance Oct. 25, writing that Smith is undergoing inpatient treatment for “addiction issues” and is not expected to complete treatment until December.

“It is in the best interest of justice that (Smith) receive the full benefit of her ongoing addiction treatment,” the request states.

U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson agreed, granting the four-month extension Oct. 29.

Smith was indicted on drug delivery charges in March along with her sister, Jerri Smith of Utah.

Both have pleaded guilty.

Soon after her indictment, Terri Smith resigned her position as head judge for the Wind River Tribal Court, which adjudicates Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho members on the Wind River Indian Reservation.


Sex assault reported at UW dorm

LARAMIE (WNE) — The University of Wyoming sent an email to employees and students around noon Saturday indicating there was a reported sexual assault in a UW dormitory.

According to the email, the female victim was assaulted by a man she met through Tinder and may have provided her with “possible laced marijuana” prior to the assault.

The email did not indicated which in which dorm the assault allegedly took place.

Earlier this year, UW sent out an email for another sexual assault which also took place in a dorm just one day after classes began.

“Advocacy and medical support options were provided

to the victim, and the matter is still under investigation,” UW’s email stated.

The email was sent for UW to be compliant with the Jeanne Clery Act of 1990, which requires universities to share information about crimes and other safety issues.

The Clery Act requires emergency notifications about imminent dangerous situations, like a tornado. It also requires “timely warnings” about a serious crime, like the one issued Saturday.

As with all its Clery Act emails, UW’s Wednesday email included numerous suggestions of ways sexual

assault can be prevented, as well as a lengthy list of resources regarding sexual assault the campus community can tap — including ways to report an assault.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there were 21 reported rapes in on UW’s campus in 2017, 19 in 2016, and 14 in 2015.


Sheridan College official to helm Nebraska community college

SHERIDAN (WNE) — After three and a half years as Vice President of Student Affairs at the Northern Wyoming Community College District, Leah Barrett will depart Sheridan College at the end of the fall semester to serve as president of Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska. Barrett’s last day on campus in Sheridan will be Dec. 13, and she will begin as president in Norfolk in January.

Originally from Newcastle, Barrett returned to the state after eight years at State University of New York, College of Brockport in Brockport, New York.

“It has been wonderful to be back in the state and have an opportunity to contribute to the place that gave me such a wonderful foundation for who I am,” Barrett said. The beauty of the campus, the ongoing construction of new facilities and student engagement activities stood out to her, especially in comparison with typical two-year institutions, she said.

“The opportunities for students to join clubs and participate in intramurals or intercollegiate athletics really provides the entire college experience to students who are here. It’s very special,” Barrett said.

NWCCD President Walter Tribley said Barrett has done an excellent job as president and that the move is a healthy next step for her.

“We need really high-level presidents to be leading institutions, people of honor, integrity, wisdom and compassion and caring, and she’s perfect for that job, so we are supportive of Dr. Barrett,” Tribley said.


Man accused of stabbing boss over wages

RAWLINS (WNE) — A Rawlins man who allegedly stabbed his boss with a box-cutter over unpaid wages pleaded not guilty on Monday in district court.

Curtis Morgan, 48, is charged with one felony count of aggravated assault. He faces as many as 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in court-related fines.

Morgan was arrested by the Rawlins Police Department on Sept. 14 following a disturbance call made from the Brickyard Inn motel in the 400 block of Rawlins.

According to court records, Morgan told authorities after his arrest that he confronted his boss, Gino Yenis, since he was owed $165 in back pay. Morgan further states that Yenis then pushed him and got him in a headlock.

“(Morgan) said that is when he had stabbed Mr. Yenis with his knife in the stomach,” the record states.

Yenis was subsequently taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital of Carbon County, where he was treated for a stab-like wound to the lower left-hand side of his stomach.

After the incident, Yenis told authorities that Morgan “came up to him with the knife already drawn in his hand” when he began asking about the money.

“Mr. Yenis said that he had told (Morgan) that he does not have it right now,” the record states. “Mr. Yenis stated that he had pushed (Morgan) to get him away from him and (Morgan) stabbed him in the stomach.”

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