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Powell, WY

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Wind: ESE at 15 mph

CJ Baker

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.

UPDATED 11:20 a.m.: The power outage in Powell and Cody this (Thursday) morning was apparently due to a downed 69 kilovolt line in the Cody area that belongs to the Western Area Power Administration.

Western spokeswoman Lisa Meiman just told the Tribune that a sheriff's deputy reported the downed line this morning. Power went out just after 9 a.m. in the Powell and Cody areas, including Ralston, the Willwood and Garland. The Tribune's power kicked on around 10:37 a.m., just as a reporter was wrapping up a conversation with Meiman. All power was restored by about 10:50 a.m, she said in a follow-up interview.

Meiman, based out of the Denver area, said the line was brought down by the ice storm and high winds just outside Cody near the Park County Regional Landfill.

Western, which provides high voltage power to local power providers, has two lines to the area, but the other was brought down by last night's weather, Meiman said.

"We were gong to come out this morning (to fix the other line) so that one will be next," she said.

Powell had some outages and flickering last night throughout the city due to the high winds, said Larry Carter, city of Powell electric superintendent. Power was restored to most of the city by 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after a roughly 15-minute outage. Another 150 homes on the west side of town lost electricity for four to five hours after a fuse blew in the area, Carter said.

"Our crews were out there until after midnight," he said. "They couldn't do much until then because of the wind."

We'll update as we get more information and have more details in Tuesday's Tribune.

Late last year, Cody orthopedic surgeon Jimmie Biles Jr. sued Cody neurologist John H. Schneider Jr. and his wife Michelle, accusing them of being behind a December 2010 mass mailing that disparaged him with false information.

On Tuesday, the Schneiders fired back in a filing in federal district court in Cheyenne, denying any involvement and countersuing Biles. The Schneiders argue Biles’ suit accusing them of defamation amounts to defamation against them. They claim Biles’ lawsuit was filed because Biles has long-standing animosity and jealousy towards Dr. Schneider.

A Cody woman will serve four to six years behind bars for a March 2011 incident in which she reportedly came close to shooting her now-ex-husband in the chest.

On Wednesday, Mary “Suzy” Ferrell, 59, pleaded no contest to a felony count of aggravated assault.

A proposal to build an indoor equestrian center on Cody’s west strip with a temporary 1-cent sales tax has been put on hold.

Tony Scheiber, a Cody veterinarian who has helped lead the charge for the project, said the center’s proponents don’t want to conflict with a separate 1-cent tax proposal being discussed by leaders from Park County, the city of Powell, the city of Cody and the town of Meeteetse.

A federal district court judge in Cheyenne has rejected the federal government’s claim that it’s immune from being sued over the fatal 2010 grizzly bear mauling of a Illinois man, allowing the case to go forward.

On June 17, 2010, Erwin F. Evert was apparently killed by a 430-pound grizzly bear that was recovering from federal researchers’ tranquilizers in the Shoshone National Forest, just east of Yellowstone National Park. The 70-year-old botanist and his wife owned a cabin about a mile from the site and lived there seasonally for several decades.

Years ago, a group of folks in Cody came up with the idea of instituting an additional 1-cent sales tax in Yellowstone National Park to pay for improvements to and maintenance of the park’s roads, sewer systems and other infrastructure.

The idea didn’t gain traction then, and a revival of the concept didn’t fare much better in the Wyoming Legislature on Tuesday.

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