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CJ Baker

March 22, 2012 8:20 am

Romney wins Park County

Santorum win voided

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney came one delegate closer to clinching the Republican party’s nomination on Monday night, as Park County Republican Party officials reversed course and determined he should receive the county’s delegate to the Republican National Convention.

A Rick Santorum supporter had won a re-vote at this month’s Park County Convention, but those results were challenged by Romney’s campaign and supporters and the state party believed the results should be voided.

March 22, 2012 8:19 am

Cody murder case moves forward

A judge has ruled that Park County prosecutors have enough evidence to proceed with a first-degree murder charge against a Cody man alleged to have killed his wife.

The case against Myron Friday, 28, was bound over to Park County’s District Court after a Monday afternoon hearing in front of Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters.

March 20, 2012 8:06 am

Tougher DUI law approved

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.

March 06, 2012 8:38 am

Third place

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.