Powell, WY


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CJ Baker

The state of Wyoming is more than tripling the maximum sentence for repeated drunken or impaired driving.

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Sam Krone, R-Cody — overwhelmingly passed by the Legislature last month and recently signed into law by Gov. Matt Mead — says offenders who drive while under the influence for a fourth or subsequent time in a decade can receive as much as seven years in prison.

The felony charge previously carried a maximum sentence of two years behind bars. Wyoming’s DUI laws apply to people who drive while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs.

Krone, a deputy Park County prosecuting attorney, took issue with the fact that two years was the most someone could get for repeated impaired driving, even if it was, say, a 12th offense.

A clean-up of the remains of a of home that exploded last summer is finally under way after more than half a year of uncertainty and frustration for the homeowner.

Allstate Insurance paid some of Mark Imsand’s claim for his destroyed Willwood area home in January, according to Imsand, and after some delays due to frost, he finalized a contract with Spomer Construction last week to clean up the rubble.

Santorum win challenged

The Wyoming Republican Party’s Presidential delegate selection process is, when running smoothly, complex and potentially confusing. But at Park County’s Republican convention Saturday, it was much more so.

Park County Republican Party officials initially declared a Rick Santorum delegate to the Republican National Convention the winner after a poll of convention delegates, then realized he hadn’t received a majority and announced they’d made a mistake.

A second run-off vote was then held and narrowly went to a Mitt Romney delegate, but those results were then voided because of errors in the way ballots were distributed and confusing instructions that resulted in one man apparently voting twice.

The Santorum delegate then narrowly won a third vote and was declared the winner — only to have Romney’s campaign launch a legal challenge.

Two consecutive losses at the Class 3A State Tournament ended the Powell High School girls basketball team’s season a little earlier than they would have liked.

PHS head Coach Luke Danforth said he was sorry to see the season end on losses to Rawlins (51-29) and Douglas (44-39), but pleased the Lady Panthers made it to state and put themselves in a spot to potentially win there.

Republican Presidential contender Rick Santorum has won the Park County Republican Party's delegate to the Republican National Convention, though former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's campaign is challenging his win.

A Cody woman representing the former Pennsylvania Senator won a 29-27 vote over a Cody man supporting Romney during the Park County GOP's convention on Saturday morning.

The vote was the morning's third and followed significant confusion in which Santorum was first announced the winner, then Romney, then finally Santorum.

Romney's campaign is contending that the second vote -- which Romney won 28-26 -- should have been accepted. The campaign's position is that holding a third vote was not in accordance with the party's rules, according to an email from a Romney lawyer read aloud by Park County Republican Chair Geri Hockhalter at the convention Saturday afternoon.

The Wyoming Republican Party posted on its Facebook page Saturday evening that the Park County's results were in "contested mode," "to be determined," and not considered final.

Romney had won Park County's straw poll last week, but it was non-binding.

A candidate needs 1,144 delegates at the national convention to secure the Republican party's nomination.

The Tribune will have more details in Tuesday's newspaper.

Citing evidence that his bloody footprints and cell phone were found at the scene, the Park County Attorney’s Office has charged 28-year-old Myron Friday with the murder of his wife in Cody.

Friday, 28, faces a count of first-degree murder in connection with the killing of 44-year-old Julie Friday on the night of Feb. 26.

The Lady Panthers spent last week focusing on how to beat the Mountain View Lady Buffaloes at the Class 3A West regional basketball tournament.

That work paid off, as the Powell High School girls beat Mountain View twice en route to a third-place regional finish and ticket to the state tournament.

A 28-year-old Cody man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the Sunday night killing of his wife at her Cody home.

Myron J. Friday made his initial appearance in Cody's Circuit Courtroom this (Thursday) morning, where Judge Bruce Waters set his bail at $1 million. Friday has been jailed since his arrest at 6:15 p.m. Monday; the arrest followed a day-long search for Friday that included a search plane.

The man's wife, 44-year-old Julie Friday, was found dead at her 33rd Street home by one of her teenage children around 11 p.m. Sunday. At a press conference the following day, Cody Police Chief Perry Rockvam said Julie Friday “definitely” died from unspecified trauma and described Myron Friday as the department’s “primary suspect.”

Following his arrest, Myron Friday was booked into the Park County Detention Center on suspicion of second-degree murder.

“That’s what he’s being held on at this point,” said Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric on Wednesday afternoon, and he declined to say what charge would be filed.

“Obviously, the case remains under investigation, and we’re working on it,” Skoric said.

On Thursday, his office filed the first-degree murder charge, which alleges Friday committed the killing "purposely and with premeditated malice." The lesser offense of second-degree murder applies when an individual commits the crime "purposely and maliciously, but without premeditation."

In court, Deputy Park County Attorney Tim Blatt said that, according to the affidavit of probable cause compiled by police, Friday was the only one who would have been at the house with Julie Friday at the time of her death. Blatt also said that when Myron Friday was apprehended, he was wearing shoes that matched bloody shoe prints found at Julie Friday's home.

Blatt was unsuccessful in asking Friday be held without bail.

Rockvam said the timeline of the incident was a factor in why Friday was being considered as a suspect.

Friday reportedly left the residence on foot. Rockvam announced Monday morning that police were seeking Friday for questioning, and officers followed up several leads during the day. A citizen ultimately tipped police off that Friday was at a C Street residence about a half-mile away from his home.

Friday had been living with his wife at the time of the incident. Court records indicate Friday was charged with misdemeanor crimes in 2011 in connection with two altercations with his wife — including one where he reportedly broke her cell phone and kicked in her door. Records indicate that alcohol was involved.

Rockvam said police were called to the 33rd Street home “numerous” times over the years. Police executed two search warrants at the home following the Sunday incident, but as of press time Wednesday, they had not been returned to Circuit Court and therefore the documents were not yet publicly available.

Editor's note: This version corrects Julie Friday's age.

The Wyoming Senate has dropped a proposal to limit the public’s ability to access some government records and emails.

The Senate on Wednesday rejected some proposed new restrictions on public records and passed a bill, Senate File 25, that would modernize Wyoming’s public records law.

Cody police have arrested a 28-year-old man they described as their "primary suspect" in connection with a Sunday night murder.

Myron Friday, arrested Monday evening in Cody, is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Cody's Circuit Courtroom at 9 a.m. Thursday. No charges had been filed against him as of Tuesday morning, and a circuit court representative said she did not believe they would be until Wednesday.

Jail records on the Park County Sheriff's website accessed Tuesday morning stated that Friday was being held on suspicion of second-degree murder. It will ultimately be up to Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric to determine any charges brought against Friday.

Friday's wife, 44-year-old Julie Friday, was found dead at her home on 33rd Street in Cody around 11 p.m. Sunday, said Cody Police Chief Perry Rockvam during a Monday afternoon news conference. Rockvam said the discovery was made by her teenage son. Police were called at 11:02 p.m. and at Friday's trailer at 11:05 p.m., where she was pronounced dead.

"We understand this is a very difficult time for Julie's family. We are definitely thinking of the family," Rockvam said.

He described Myron Friday as the primary suspect in connection with the homicide case. Myron Friday reportedly left the home on foot after the incident. After unsuccessful searching throughout the day, Friday was arrested around 6:15 p.m. Monday at a residence on Cody's C Street, Rockvam said in a Monday night press release.

He declined to say why police consider Friday a suspect, but said the time frame of the incident is a factor.

Friday is 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs 225 pounds, is Native American and has a tattoo that says, "mi vida loca" in script on his neck. He previously worked as a derrick hand.

"He does have a violent past, but it's primarily due to domestic violence incidents," Rockvam said. Court records show past conflict with police as well, with several misdemeanor interference charges. Friday was previously released from the Park County Detention Center on Feb. 18 after serving more than a month in jail for violating his terms of probation on 2011 convictions for interfering with police and criminal trespassing, court records say. He currently is on unsupervised probation out of Park County Circuit Court.

A Tribune search of state court records showed no felony convictions or past felony charges against Friday.

Monday's efforts to locate Friday included using Park County Search and Rescue personnel and their plane to search areas along the Shoshone River by air, Rockvam said; a construction crew off U.S. 14-A east of Cody had seen someone cutting across a field, but Rockvam said police found no one that matched Friday's description.

"We're still following leads as much as we possibly can," he said. Cody police had also reached out to law enforcement in Riverton, where Friday has family, and Billings.

Friday was arrested at a C Street residence after a local citizen tipped police off.

Rockvam did not offer any details of the investigation on Monday afternoon. He described it as a "domestic violence incident" and said Julie Friday "definitely" suffered unspecified trauma. The cause of death won't be known until an autopsy is completed, the chief said.

Officers were called to the Fridays' 33rd Street residence "numerous" times over the years, he said.

Editor's note: This version corrects Julie Friday's age.


Earlier story:

Updated 10:45 p.m. Monday: Police have arrested a man in connection with a Sunday night homicide in Cody.

The homicide was reported at 11:03 p.m. at 208 33rd Street in Cody, said a brief release from Cody Police Chief Perry Rockvam sent Monday morning. At an afternoon press conference, Rockvam identified the deceased as 34-year-old Julie Friday and said she had died from unspecified trauma.

Rockvam described Julie Friday's husband, 28-year-old Myron Friday, as police's "primary suspect." After spending the day searching for Myron Friday, Cody police arrested him around 6:15 p.m. at a C Street residence in Cody, Rockvam said. Police had asked citizens for help in locating the man, described as 5 feet 9 inches, 225 pounds, Native American with a tattoo on his neck that says "Mi Vida Loca."

Rockvam said in a late Monday press release that a citizen had tipped police office to the location of the suspect, who was wanted for questioning.

A flyer released by police listed Friday's last known address is 208 33rd Street, where the homicide reportedly occurred.

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