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Kidnapping suspect will be sentenced

A Montana man charged with abducting and sexually assaulting a young girl in Cody last year plans to abandon the claim that he is not guilty, court records indicate.

Jesse P. Speer, 40, has been scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 19 in Park County’s District Court in Cody.

District Court Judge Steven Cranfill scheduled the change of plea and sentencing hearing in a Monday order.

The scheduling indicates an agreement has been reached between Park County Bryan Skoric and Speer’s court-appointed attorney, Travis Smith of Cody. Skoric would not comment on what the agreement entails and the Tribune was unable to immediately reach Smith on Monday afternoon.

The six felony charges currently pending against Speer — which include kidnapping and first-degree sexual assault — carry maximum penalties that total life in prison plus 90 years.

Speer is alleged to have been the man who lured an 11-year-old girl to a vehicle outside the Park County Complex on Oct. 8, 2012.

When the girl balked at getting in his vehicle, the man forced her in at gunpoint and struck her in the head to stop her from watching where they were going. He then took her to the Carter Mountain area and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint, charging documents say. The girl was then abandoned in the remote area before being rescued by hunters.

Cody police and the FBI identified Speer as their suspect through a five-day investigation that involved a detailed recollection from the girl and surveillance camera footage from around the region.

Police have alleged in charging documents that Speer confessed to the crime after his arrest in Belgrade, Mont., and that DNA evidence implicates him.

A trial had been set to start Oct. 4 but did not take place. The attorneys had apparently been anticipating a deal since at least August, when they agreed to have Wyoming Department of Corrections staff begin preparing a pre-sentence investigation for Speer.

Speer, a landscape photographer, has been jailed since his Oct. 13, 2012, arrest, held on a combined $3 million bond.

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1 comment

  • posted by R Edwards`

    October 31, 2013 12:43 am

    I am sorry, but what I see in this artical are the words Plea and Deal.
    I am an older resident of Cody, our daughter was raised here. I dont understand how can there be any Plea, or Deal for this man.. I wonder if the truth was known,, How many times did this young girl Plea and ask Please no !!! When she was in his possion, I cant imagine the horror she must have went through.. This man does not deserve get a Deal or a PLEA

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