John T. McCarthy Jr., 20, and Luke C. Cannon, 18, made their initial appearances in Park County’s Circuit Court in Cody on Wednesday morning. Each is charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and aggravated burglary — all felony charges.
The burglary count is “aggravated” because it involves firearms.
Cannon and McCarthy are alleged to have broken into a Lane 11 residence on two separate occasions between March 15 and March 30; that’s the time between when the home’s caretaker last visited the residence and when he discovered the break-in on March 30.
Law enforcement officials say the investigation into the burglaries and shooting has become part of a broader investigation involving other criminal offenses; the Park County Sheriff’s Office and Powell police have cooperated extensively on the cases.
“There are going to be some other charges that we’re just starting to put together,” said Deputy Park County Attorney Tim Blatt.
Cannon and McCarthy were arrested separately on Monday.
“Mr. Cannon, I think you understand at this point, this is a big deal,” said Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters in setting Cannon’s bond at $50,000. Cannon was allowed to post a surety bond as part of an agreement between his attorney, Bill Simpson of Cody, and Blatt, for reasons disclosed to the judge but not revealed in open court. While out on bond, Cannon must wear an ankle monitor, avoid all contact with the other individuals involved in the case, stay in Park County and check in with police, among other conditions. Being out on bond will allow Cannon, a senior, to continue attending Powell High School, Simpson said.
McCarthy’s bond was set at $50,000 cash only. He had asked Waters to have his bond set low enough so he could continue his job at a Powell convenience store. McCarthy said he lives with his cousin and two sisters, who need his help to pay bills.
“I fear if I’m not able to work that they will struggle to get bills paid without my income,” he said, adding later as to his risk of flight, “I have nowhere to go.”
Waters rejected McCarthy’s request.
“The theft of multiple firearms from a residence, that’s a serious danger to the community,” the judge said, also noting that McCarthy was currently out on bond for failure to appear for a prior charge.
“Guess what — your sisters are on their own,” Waters said.
In separate proceedings Wednesday morning, the only individual charged so far in last week’s shooting — 19-year-old Sage Miears of Powell — waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing. A hearing will be scheduled for a later date on the charge of aggravated assault and battery.
Miears is alleged to have pointed a pistol stolen from a different residence at the head of another man behind a West Second Street apartment early on April 6; an unknown individual fired the gun after the other man — who knew Miears — tackled and began hitting Miears. No one was shot or seriously injured, police say.
Two individuals were reportedly with Miears during last week’s shooting. Blatt said suspects have been identified and aggravated robbery charges were pending.
Miears spoke to Park County Sheriff’s Lt. Dave Patterson about the burglaries shortly before his arrest last week, court documents say. Miears allegedly said he, Cannon and McCarthy had been discussing ways to get money earlier this year when Cannon suggested that it would be easy to steal items from the Lane 11 residence. The homeowners told Patterson that Cannon had done work for them in the past.
Court documents in the cases say 11 firearms were stolen in the burglaries of the home and indicate other items, including silverware and a safe, also were taken; McCarthy is alleged to have given the silverware to his then-girlfriend.
According to McCarthy, Miears and a fourth individual also participated in both burglaries, says Patterson’s affidavit. As of Wednesday, however, neither Miears nor the other man had been charged in connection with the burglaries.
Another individual —also not currently charged — is alleged to have been selling the stolen guns in Powell.
Blatt said police are currently looking for other people.
(Editor's note: This version of the story corrects that the pistol recovered after an April 6 gunshot in Powell was not stolen in the two burglaries referenced in the story. It also corrects that Miears waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing, rather than waiving his right to the hearing itself.)