The Silent Witnesses
The following information has been provided by family members of the victims. If the family information is not available, the information was obtained from law enforcement reports and/or death certificates.
MARIA LOUISE BODILY ANDERSON
October 8, 1994
Louise was brutally beaten to death by her boyfriend’s brother, Dennis Marshall, age 26, who was living with Louise, her boyfriend, and her two children.
Marshall beat Louise, a nurse’s aide, in a hotel room with his hands, feet, and a chair. Maria died of multiple blunt force blows to her entire body, with the fatal blow breaking her neck. The autopsy report found evidence of former beatings. Maria Louise, whom the family calls Louise, was five weeks pregnant at the time of her death.
Louise was adopted into the Bodily family when she was four days old. As a toddler she had thick long blonde hair. She was very active and a daredevil. When she was four she could shinny up the biggest maple tree and ride a two-wheel bicycle. One of Louise’s loves was to go fishing with her dad, she would say to her dad, “Daddy, you can catch the most but I’m going to catch the biggest”, and she almost always did. At six years old she could put together adult jigsaw puzzles with uncanny ease. As she grew older and graduated from high school, she moved to Evanston and while there her father died of a heart attack. Louise was very close to her father and she was devastated. She left her first marriage when she met Alfred James Marshall. She had two children with him and lived with Alfred for eight years before Dennis moved in with them. Dennis Marshall pled guilty to second-degree murder.
Louise’s mother, Dorotha Jeanne Bodily writes: “Louise...you were selected, not expected, and I thank God every day that I was picked to be your mother. I love you with all my heart.”
Dennis Marshall was sentenced on June 29, 1995 to 25-35 years for second-degree murder. He was released on parole June 20, 2012 and will be discharged around 2019.
October 20, 1994
Sherry was stabbed with a screwdriver bit in her temple by her husband, Stephen Richard Barela. Barela then kidnapped the children and took them from the state.
“My daughter was only 21 when Steve Barela took her life. She died instantly, but the children witnessed her death! Raymond was 18 months, and Crystal, three years.
Sherry was a loving and caring person. She would give you her last dollar or the shirt off her back, if you needed it. Her killer robbed us of the chance to be with her and enjoy her company, her smile, and her offbeat sense of humor. She loved to dance and made a good living doing it.”
Submitted by Sherry’s mother, Barbara Yarusinsky
Steve Barella pled guilty to second-degree murder and two counts of kidnapping. He was sentenced on April 21, 1995, to 28 years to life; he’s currently at the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp in Newcastle, WY.
LEYSA MICHELLE BERNAL
May 29, 1999
Green River, Wyoming
Leysa was born November 27, 1977. On Saturday, May 29, 1999, Leysa was shot twice in the face by her ex- boyfriend, Lawrence “Duke” Howard at the home of her mother Chris Bernal, who was present along with her sister Crista and Leysa’s son, Michael.
Six weeks earlier, their 10-month-old son’s leg was broken as Duke was physically attacking Leysa. Leysa did everything right with an Order of Protection for her son and herself.
She is our “ANGEL FOR ETERNITY” and loved and missed by her son, mom, dad, brother, three sisters, two grandmothers, and all of her family and friends.
“Looking at little Michael really bothers us because he has no parents and two young lives were wasted for no reason.”
Submitted by Leysa’s mother, Chris Bernal
Duke Howard received a 52 year to life sentence in the Wyoming State Penitentiary as a plea agreement for second-degree murder. In November 2000, Duke Howard committed suicide at the state prison and was buried on Leysa’s birthday.
CLAUDIA JEAN BILLS
June 12, 1993
Claudia was in bed when she was shot three times by her husband, David, who then committed suicide.
Claudia Jean Cornia Bills was the oldest child of a mechanic and a drug store clerk. Though she grew up on the “wrong side” of Evanston, she still managed to be one of the leaders of her class, being voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” Claudia married during her junior year of college and had to quit going to college while her husband finished school. They eventually moved back to her hometown where David was a teacher and city councilman. Over the years she bore five daughters. Each had a very unique relationship with their mother, loving and admiring her in different ways.
She set an example with her deep desire to improve herself and the world around her. She attended night classes and was the first person in Evanston’s outreach program of Western Wyoming Community College to achieve her Associate of Arts degree. She served as her political party’s chairperson, and was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, attending whenever her husband allowed her. He resented all things that took her attention from him and fought her bitterly with emotional abuse.
Through all of this, Claudia still found time to be a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, and friend. At the time of her death, she and her husband were attending the University of Wyoming. She left behind her daughters, parents, five grandchildren, two son-in-laws, and countless friends.
Her memory stands as a witness to strength of personality in the face of overwhelming odds.
Submitted by Claudia’s daughter, Heather B. Taylor
CARA MIA BONSELL
June 24, 2010
Rock Springs, Wyoming
On June 24, 2010, Cara was shot in the face and killed by her husband Terrence Hayes, she was 42 years old. Cara was an avid horsewoman and was very active in the Parelli method of horsemanship. She loved animals of all kinds. She left two horses and five dogs behind. Cara was a graduate (with honors) of the University of Wyoming and Kansas State University. She acquired many honors while a student including being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. At the time of her death, Cara was a chemist in the quality control department of Schlumberger Corp. She had a great work ethic and was extremely accomplished in everything she undertook. Cara was active in Parelli horse clinics, volunteering at the Red Desert Humane Society and Relay for Life.
Terrance Hayes was found guilty of first degree murder and was sentenced to life without parole. He is being held by the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington, WY
November 17, 1994
*Male friend also killed*
Linnea and a male friend were shot by her estranged husband, Dale, who then attempted to commit suicide. His injuries were so severe, he was declared incompetent to stand trial for the murders.
Linnea graduated from Kelly Walsh High School, Casper, WY in 1969. She had a protection order at the time of her death, and her estranged husband had just been released on a $400 Domestic Violence bond. Linnea was killed two weeks after her father’s death. She is survived by two children from a previous marriage: Stacie and Austin, her mother, a sister, and a nephew. A brother died in 1996.
Submitted by Linnea’s mother, Suzanne A. Bush
July 20, 1994
Green River, Wyoming
Laura was nursing her 19 day-old infant daughter, when she saw her husband, Grant, was pointing a gun at her. She quickly bent over to protect their child and was shot in the top of her head.
Laura Kate Sporich was born in Mesa, Arizona. The oldest of six children, she was like a second mother to her younger sisters and brother, always the protector and peacemaker. She loved animals, the outdoors, camping, fishing, and hiking. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She was an accomplished violinist, who participated in many talent shows, road shows, and dance festivals. She loved flying and was a member of the Air Force R.O.T.C. She was a beautiful, tall young lady with a positive outlook on life.
When Laura was 15 she met Grant Bossa, who was 24. He coerced her into running away with him and she became pregnant with their first child. When they were married, he was four hours late for the wedding. He moved Laura to Tucson to separate her from her family, and would not allow her to have a phone or the use of a car. He frequently attacked her religious beliefs. He lied to her to get her to move to Green River. As time went by, Laura re-established herself in the church. This angered Grant and he became progressively more violent, becoming physically and verbally abusive when she was pregnant with their second child. He was arrested for assault, but each time she tried to leave him, he threatened to take her child. When she was pregnant again, there were many incidents of abuse, and Laura obtained a protection order from the court because she feared for her life.
“We as Laura’s family hope and pray that her death will stand as a silent witness so that women everywhere will someday never have to be afraid of being beaten or murdered by their spouse.”
Submitted by Laura’s mother, Melanie H. Sporich
Grant Bossa was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced on February 7, 1995 to 25 to 30 years. He was released on parole June 6, 2012 and will be discharged around 2016.
March 2, 1989
Rita, a homemaker, was shot in the head with a .22 magnum pistol by her boyfriend.
Stanley Bear Paw was sentenced on August 9, 1989, to 20 to 30 years for second-degree murder. The Wyoming Supreme Court remanded the case back to court. The Second-degree murder charge was dismissed and he pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter with a sentence of 5 to 7 years. He was paroled in July of 1993 and was discharged from parole in June of 2000.
DAWNITA ELIZABETH EVANS BRANDON
July 30, 2007
Rock Springs, Wyoming
Dawnita was brutally murdered from stab wounds inflicted on her by her husband, she was 32.
Dawnita was born November 30, 1974, in Lawrence Kansas. She moved to Rock Springs in 2005 where she met her husband Timothy Brandon. Dawnita was a very vibrant, beautiful woman, she loved the outdoors, fishing, camping and spending time with family and friends. Her goal in life was to be someone everyone could be proud of, and we were, she never had a chance when she walked through her front door that fateful evening. Dawn is missed every day, “Never Forgotten” she is “Our Special Angel,” we miss her.
Submitted by her family: Mother Cheryl Evans, son Dakota Nowak, daughter Faith Evans, brothers, Ben, Matt and Rick Johnson; Grandparents Clifford and Barbara Evans; Stepparents Jimmie and Donna Johnson; Dawn’s best friends and cousins Barbara Ann and Candy Dawn; her uncle Robin Evans, plus many other family members.
Timothy Brandon pled guilty to second-degree murder under a plea agreement and was sentenced to 55 years to life in prison. He is not eligible for parole until July 2045. He resides at the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
We will fight to never have him released!
March 30, 1990
Glenn was shot to death in her home by her husband, Joe Bright, who then committed suicide. She was discovered by her grandson when he came to check on her. She sustained five gunshot wounds to her face, chest and abdomen.
LYNEA NICHOLE BROWN
August 15, 2006
Lynaya was shot by her husband Willard F Brown in their home with a shotgun. Lynaya died from a single shot to the chest. Lynaya was on the phone with 911 when she was shot. Willard had jammed the locks and unplugged the garage door so there was no way out and then told her he was going to shoot her. As recorded on the 911 tape. It only took 3 minutes for officers to respond. By the time they arrived and broke the door down they found Lynaya dead and found Willard in the garage where he attempted to commit suicide.
Lynaya was the proud mother of 2 girls, Alexis 12, and Ireland, 9. Despite being a mother at such a young age, Lynaya was the most determined person I have ever known. She lived her life for her girls. Not only was she determined, Lynaya was academically established with a contagious personality. No one will ever replace her. Lynaya’s smiles would light up the room. Her laughter would tickle your heart. It’s so hard to believe she is gone at the hands of someone else. She seemed invincible to me.
Submitted by Lynaya’s sister, Lonna C. Kohl
Willard pled guilty to 2nd degree and was sentenced to 25-35 years. He is currently incarcerated at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington. He will not be eligible for parole till 8/2/2023. Without parole his sentence will be completed 6/27/2030.
October 5, 1996
After disappearing from a party she was attending, Berry was found raped and her throat cut by an acquaintance, Levi Collen.
In 18 years, Berry positively touched lives across the state, not just Riverton and Fremont County.
Through 4-H and leadership programs, track, and cross-country, Berry met lots of adults and youth. While not truly outgoing, she was approachable and accepting of others. Berry was beginning to experience the power of making the first move in interpersonal relationships with all ages.
Competitive, she went the extra mile to attain personal goals, yet was a strong team player. Noted for strong convictions and sportsmanship, she was not shy in expressing herself. Berry’s contagious spirit, upbeat attitude, wit, work ethic, sociability, plus a generous sprinkling of human frailties, endeared her to faculty and students alike as she enthusiastically began her brief college life. Family and friends feel deprived of a very special person with potential to spare.
Submitted by Berry’s mother, Sharon Bryant
Levi Collen pled guilty to two counts of sexual assault, one count of aggravated kidnapping, and one count of first-degree murder. He was sentenced on November 27, 1996, to three consecutive life sentences and is currently incarcerated at the
Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington.
BEVERLY ANN BURKE
June 30, 1998
On Tuesday, June 30, 1998, Billy Joe Jackson entered the home of friends, where he and his wife, Beverly Ann, were staying. He had been arguing with his wife prior to this moment, shouted to Beverly that he wasn’t going to put up with her anymore, grabbed her by the hair and shot her in the head. A short time later he shot himself. Beverly died instantly. He later died at the hospital.
Beverly loved her sons and grandchildren dearly. Her six sons and five grandchildren miss her very much and hope that her story helps at least one person.
LYNN KNIVEL BUSH
December 7, 1990
Lynn was the loving daughter of Larry and Gayle Knievel. Lynn has a sister Michelle and her daughter Misty turned 23 years old in 2008 and was in the military. Lynn was a friend to people of all ages and touched the hearts of many young and old. She was dearly loved by her daycare children.
Lynn was reported missing on December 9, 1990 by her unfaithful and disloyal husband David Bush. Lynn’s body has never been recovered.
Submitted by Lynn’s parents Larry and Gayle Knievel, her sister Michelle and daughter Misty
David Bush was convicted in 2008 of second degree murder and sentenced to 45 years to life. He is incarcerated at the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
ANN PAULETTE CAUDLE
February 5, 1988
Ann was strangled by her husband, Douglas Caudle, in the presence of two of her children who were five and three at the time. Her older daughter, Leanne, found the body of her mother and her unconscious father the next day. Ann had been employed at CR Energy Corporation in Sheridan since 1981. She was a valued accountant and office manager. She lived in Story, where she was a great motivator for community togetherness, working diligently for the ambulance service for Story and Banner and serving on the Story PTO. She was an excellent cook, and often prepared special baked goods as presents or to treat neighbors.
Ann was a member of Mensa and looked forward to meetings with fellow members. She enjoyed reading, theater, playing the piano, and sewing. Ann met with friends for Bible study in her home and she and her family were members of the Lutheran Church in Buffalo. She had a host of friends. She was a great listener, caring, and compassionate.
The children’s loss of their mother is great. She was a loving mother and delighted in doing things with her children. They helped Ann with the cooking, baking, and entertaining. Together they enjoyed cross-country skiing, trips to parks and museums, fishing, and traveling. Shortly after Ann’s death, the children moved to Iowa to live with Ann’s parents, Harold and Bonnie Hoversten.
Her mother, five sisters (Lyn, Jan, Amy, Rosemary, and Elaine) and her brother John all miss Ann deeply.
Submitted by Ann’s mother, Bonnie Hoversten
Douglas Caudle accepted a plea bargain of voluntary manslaughter and no trial was held. Douglas was sentenced on October 24, 1988, to 15 to 20 years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary. He was paroled in November 1998. He was discharged from parole in 2003.
JAMIE LYNN CIMINELLI
June 2, 2007
Mountain View, Wyoming
Jamie was murdered on June 2, 2007 at the age of 18 by her boyfriend Roman Sanchez. Jamie was beat severely by her boyfriend Roman in front of four other male friends and not one of them tried to intervene to save Jamie’s life. Roman left Jamie at her parent’s home knowing she lay dying. The next morning he asked his mother to check on her “because Jamie isn’t feeling well”.
Jamie was born on November 13, 1998 she was a very beautiful girl. Jamie loved to read historical novels and especially loved her Mercury Cougar with a sunroof. She also enjoyed writing in her journal which she did daily. She was very proud of her Italian roots and had a passion for cooking Italian meals for her family. Everything was made from scratch including pasta and her favorite dish, Tiramisu. She was a professional waitress devoted to her job. Being a very social person, her customers adored her and she them. After her sister married, she was the only girl left and her brothers teased her, but she had a great sense of humor and loved her family very much. Jamie was a very compassionate, caring person and her friends always looked to her for advice.
Jamie’s father Jim always liked to go hiking and look for arrowheads. A month after her death he went out into the prairie close to their home to go hiking to relieve his aching heart when he thought he heard Jamie calling to him. He turned, walking toward her voice a few steps and looked down to find a perfect arrowhead. Then he thought he heard her again and turned to see a small group of white flowers in the shape of a cross. He felt then that Jamie was with God and knew that she was ok.
There is an empty space in everyone’s heart that knew and loved Jamie, for she was and always will be their Angel.
Submitted by Jamie’s mother Debbie Ciminelli
In 2008 Roman was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He is currently incarcerated at the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
KELLIE MAE COVEY
March 13, 2002
Kellie was a super mom to her boys Jason, Jeremy and Joe Covey. She was a beautiful young lady who touched everyone she came in contact with and she was very much loved by her mother, father and whole family.
She was shot in the face and killed by her boyfriend, Quejay Aemijo.
Submitted by Kellie’s mother, Myrtle Mae Roybal
Quejay Armijo completed probation in 2009.
ASHLEY MAY CRAIG
April 8, 2015
Ashley May Craig was born in Torrington May 12, 1993. On April 8,2015 Ashley and her boyfriend, David Hernandez, 47, argued all day in various locations including a church parking lot. At one point he struck her in the face giving her a bloody nose. That evening parked outside of his father's house, Hernandez shot 22-year-old Ashley in the head and killed her while she was leaning over to get their 18-month-old son out of the car seat in the back. Her mother believes Ashley had taken her son and was trying to leave the relationship that day.
Thinking of her daughter, Melissa said, "Ashley was good mom. She loved her son. her son came first in her life. She read to him played games and watched Sponge Bob cartoons and movies with him. Ashley loved gardening and animals, especially horses. She enjoyed helping people, especially handicapped kids. She was outgoing, caring, gentle, and so much fun to be with. Ashley is dearly missed every day."
Submitted by Melissa Haynes, Ashley's mother
David Hernandez pled guilty to Count I – Murder in the Second Degree and Count II – Possession of a Firearm by Person Convicted of Felony Offenses. On December 1, 2015 David Hernandez was sentenced to not less than 42 years to life for Count I – Murder in the Second Degree and not less than 2 years or more than 3 years for Count II – Possession of a Firearm by Persons Convicted of Felony Offenses. The sentence on Count II runs concurrent to the sentence in Count I.
He is currently being housed at the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins.
KATHLEEN ANNETTE DAVID
July 31, 1996
Kathleen’s murderer, her ex-boyfriend, surprised her and disabled her by beating her brutally with a claw hammer. Daniel William then shot her in the head with a 9 mm. semiautomatic pistol and then committed suicide.
Kathleen could outwork most people, women and men. She was raised on a ranch 28 miles from town, with no electricity or running water. She drove a snow machine for six miles to get to the school bus, repeating that trip at night. Kathleen was an excellent horsewoman, gourmet cook, and hunting guide and packer. She had worked in the Trona mines and as a flagger on construction jobs, as a roughneck on oil rigs, and as a cocktail waitress and bartender. She started her own business in 1991 – The Sublette Stage, a taxi/shuttle service.
Kathy had four beautiful children: Kimberly, Brian, and twins Tracy and Daniel. She was a special mother. There was no television in the house. She chose to do things with her children. She had such a philosophy of life that everyone loved her. Everyone’s life that she touched came away richer for having known her.
In spite of the beating and gunshot wound, she still had a faint heartbeat when the emergency personnel arrived. She was a fighter and her will to live and love and zest for life were hard to stop. Kathy’s family, her mother, father, sister, brother, children, many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, have lost a precious part of their lives.
Submitted by Kathy’s mother, Marilyn David
LIANA MAE DAVIDSON
August 10, 1996
Green River, Wyoming
*Erik Robert Duke also killed*
Liana Mae Davidson married Bob Duke in 1991 and they had a son Erik Robert Duke born August 8, 1991. Liana didn’t let her pregnancy stop her from graduating from high school. She graduated her senior year with all A’s and B’s.
Liana was a devoted and loving mother and Erik was the love of her life. Liana worked at the craft store and loved working with crafts and decorating. She could do any craft; her apartment was decorated so cute. She was a good homemaker, mother and wife. Liana never complained about her life and marriage to her family. On August 10, 1996, two days after Erik’s fifth birthday, Bob Duke took them for a ride up Lost Dog Road to a steep cliff and pushed them off to their deaths. It originally was declared to be an accident.
Submitted by Liana’s parents, Larry and Rose Davidson
When it was brought out later that Bob was suspected of plotting to kill his parents, the case was reopened. It took six years for the grand jury to determine if there was enough evidence to bring him to trial. On August 23, 2002, a jury convicted Bob on all six counts: two for soliciting to kill his parents, two for soliciting to kill Liana and Erik, and two for murdering Liana and Erik. He is in federal custody, currently in Jonesville, VA.
BRENDA LEE DAVILA
November 5, 2007
November 5, 2007 was a very dark day for our family when our daughter Brenda Lee was murdered by her husband. She was only 22 years old.
Brenda was a good person, sister and friend who was always happy with a great big smile on her face and you could never tell if she was unhappy or sad or had a problem because she was such a happy person. She was there for anyone who needed a friend. She was my daughter and my best friend, on that day I lost a piece of my heart that can’t be found until we meet again and are reunited as a family.
Brenda was a sweet, lovely and beautiful young lady with her whole life ahead of her. She was very intelligent. Her two young children meant the world to her. She had lots of friends and family that are going to miss her very much. We will always love Brenda and miss her lots.
On Sunday she wrote: There is no way to rewind time…make the best of the choices you make for all you know they will be the best choices of your life.
Brenda was shot by her husband Steven Lopez who then shot himself.
Submitted by Brenda’s parents Rodolfo and Martha Davila, daughter Alyana Kristina Lopez, son Steven Daniel Lopez Jr. and family.
June 27, 2014
Anna lived in Georgia for her whole life until April 2014, when she moved to Casper to be with her boyfriend that had relocated there also. Our lives will forever be changed by the horrible way our Anna died. She was fatally shot by Nick Morgan and then he took his own life.
Anna’s big brown eyes and her joyful smile will forever be in our hearts. Her heart was full of forgiving not matter what one had done to her. Her journey to Casper will never make any sense to us, but this is what she wanted and as a family we stood behind her, not knowing of how this would end.
May her light always shine bright and give us some kind of peace through this terrible tragedy. She will always remain in our hearts, thoughts, and minds; because Anna made that kind of impression on anyone she met.
Submitted by Nana (Brenda Davis), Aunt Michelle, and sisters Kayla and Brittney Davis.
KELLY JEAN DAVISON
October 6, 2009
On October 6, 2009 our lives were changed forever. Our youngest daughter, Kelly Jean Davison was murdered in her home in Loveland, CO by her husband; she was 33 years old and pregnant with her second child.
From the time Kelly was born, she brought happiness and joy to our family, she was vivacious, entertaining and had a great sense of humor. Kelly loved life and lived it to the fullest; she was beautiful and devoted her life to others. Kelly worked with handicapped adults as a social worker. She was a great advocate for them and their rights and would fight anyone that didn’t treat them with respect. She believed everyone was a child of God. All of the clients loved her, she used to say “not everyone can go to work and feel like a rock star,” but she did, because everyone was happy to see her. Kelly was like a ray of sunshine and when she entered a room, it lit up. Her greatest joy was her three-year-old son Christopher; she loved being a mom and enjoyed every minute with him.
Kelly had two sisters and one brother and everyone loved her so much. The void in our lives will be here forever, a large hole that will never be filled and the pain is too great to bare.
We love you Kelly and miss you so much. We think of you every day and know we will see you again, I hope you are at peace and know that Christopher will be taken care of and raised the way you would want him to be.
Submitted by Kelly’s mother Kathy Davison
Brandon Burgess pled guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to fifteen years in a Colorado prison. His next parole hearing is scheduled for May 2018, with his mandatory release date of January 1, 2023.
March 3, 1990
*Chris Tramboli also killed*
Colette was killed by a former boyfriend, Ronald Allen Crosby, age 28. Colette, a seamstress, was found dead from a gunshot wound, in her home.
Ronald Allen Crosby also shot and killed Chris Tramboli in Colette’s home. Ronald was not charged with these crimes because he later committed suicide.
Colette was an adorable person. She is very deeply and sadly missed by her family (Mom, Dad, Clark, Grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins) and friends. All of us feel emptiness in our daily lives without her. As her mom, I also feel that I failed Colette in some tragic ways, and I know each of us in her family believe we could somehow have prevented this tragedy; yet, in all probability, we could not.
Colette was taken from us by a drug-addicted, incompetent, sociopath when she was trying to get away from him with the help of her good friend Chris Tramboli. I remember in my last conversation with Colette, just days before she was taken from us, when I asked her if she was all right, or if she wanted me to come to Cody to get her and bring her home with me. She said, “No Mom – don’t worry. I’m fine.” And, now, in a special place within me where Colette still lives, I have to believe she is really “fine.”
Submitted by Colette’s mother, Charlotte Ware Magee
LINDA MARIE DEAN
September 26, 1985
Linda Marie died as a result of blunt trauma by her common law husband, who was convicted of second-degree murder. Her common law husband, Michael Branch, beat her to death in Denver, Colorado, and then transported her body in a cardboard box to Cheyenne, where he dumped it behind a local grocery store.
Michael Branch was convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 22 years in a Colorado Correctional Facility. He became eligible for parole in 1993 with a mandatory release date of July 12, 2004. Michael was paroled on September 19, 2001.
BARBARA K DOLPH
December 31, 2000
Barbara died as a result of a gunshot blast to her face. Barbara lived long enough to call 911 and report the shooting. Her boyfriend, David C. Poetter, age 47, then committed suicide. There had been repeated calls to law enforcement in the past regarding verbal altercations between the two. Shortly before her death, Barbara had told friends of her intention to leave Poetter. Her late hour death at the end of the year marked the only confirmed domestic violence death for 2000 in Wyoming.
“My mother Barb Dolph was a great lady who loved horses and the country life. She had just been divorced and met this man who took her life. I cannot believe that somebody could ever take and hurt such a wonderful woman as my mother.
She left behind two sons who love her very much, David and Randy.
Submitted by Barbara’s son, David L. Dolph
REBECCA A. ESTES
February 16, 1991
Rebecca died as the result of a single gunshot wound to the chest. She and her husband, David Estes, were involved in an apparent domestic dispute.
Her husband committed suicide when police officers arrived at the scene.
DOROTHY P. MORRIS GEISTER
March 3, 1993
Dorothy was shot to death by her former boyfriend, Richard Wales.
Dorothy was loved by many. She had a brother, Joey, who was her idol. She had a sister Marlo who had a baby boy which made Dorothy happy because she now had someone to call her “aunt.” Dorothy is loved and missed by her children, Kyrie Geister and Tayler Richetts.
Although the family did not attend church regularly, Dorothy found comfort there, which is probably what got her through all the bad times.
Submitted by Dorothy’s mother, Mary Kay Morris
Richard Wales was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced on June 22, 1993. Richard was given a life sentence he is currently incarcerated at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington.
May 16, 1997
Jeannie Gordon was shot to death by her husband, Richard Gordon, on May 16, 1997. Gordon pled guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Jeannie was a loving mother of two beautiful boys, David and Dale. She was also a wonderful daughter, sister, friend, and so many more things to many other people. Her beautiful smile and quick laugh will be missed by many.
Richard Gordon was sentenced for involuntary manslaughter in 1998. He was released to parole on November 18, 2009 in Riverton, WY. He completed his parole on January 14, 2012.
February 26, 1987
Teri Harris was shot three times in the chest by her boyfriend, Dean Sisneros, on a dirt road near Sinclair, Wyoming. Dean Sisneros then committed suicide. The bodies were discovered on March 5, 1987.
Teri was a hard worker who would do anything for anybody. She loved to work in her home. She was outgoing, friendly, and loving. She collected unicorns, and liked fishing, camping, and Christmas. Her two children came first. She was involved in school activities, and was a Girl Scout leader for her daughter’s troop. She was also her sister’s best friend.
BRANDY JO IMHOFF
Approximately December 22, 1991
Brandy was murdered when she intervened in a physical altercation between her mother and her mother’s boyfriend, Mark Barnes, age 36.
Mark severely beat Brandy and threw her out into the yard. Brandy was later brought into the house and died sometime that night.
Brandy’s body was hidden in the home for a week. Mark then placed Brandy’s body into a kitchen cabinet and started the house on fire.
Mark Barnes pled guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree arson. He was sentenced on August 7, 1992, and received 5 to 7 years for the arson charge and 30 to 50 years for the murder charge. He is incarcerated at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington.
SHARON PULVER JOHNSON
December 31, 1999
Sharon Annabel Johnson was born on November 19, 1956 in Wheatland, WY and killed on New Year’s Eve 1999 in Kansas.
Sharon had two children from a previous marriage, Alan and Ronda (their father is deceased). Danny has two sons, Nathan and Jason from a previous relationship. Sharon and Danny have one son together, Nick.
Sharon and Danny apparently argued, Sharon got out of the vehicle to walk and Dan ran her over, and then backed over her to finish the job.
We didn’t want Dan’s life, just for him to pay for his horrific act. The court gave him seven years. Sharon was worth way more than that.
Our mom will always be, loved and missed by all.
Submitted by Sharon’s brother Sonny and daughter Ronda.
Daniel Joe Johnson was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced on September 8, 2000 to 7 years in prison. He was released on parole October 16, 2006 and his sentence expired March 6, 2010.
June 5, 1988
Melody was killed by her husband, James Koester. Melody, a nurse’s aide, was killed by four gunshot wounds to the head. Her husband shot her with a semi-automatic .32 caliber pistol.
James Koester was convicted of first-degree murder and on August 11, 1988, was sentenced to life in prison. He is currently incarcerated at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington.
July 24, 1986
Cynthia died as a result of numerous stab wounds inflicted by her estranged husband. Michael Scott Langlois had been stalking her for a week before he killed her.
Michael Langlois pled guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced on June 12, 1987, to 20 to 25 years in prison. Michael was paroled in June of 2000. He was released from parole on October 13, 2009.
July 23, 1996
*Manuel Mancha also killed*
Yesenia died from two gunshot wounds to her back by her husband, Chon Ascension Gonzales-Pena. Yesenia’s husband killed her and her brother and shot at another brother who was present in the home.
Chon Ascension Gonzales-Pena has been in Wyoming custody since 2002. Gonzales was serving a 10-year sentence for drug trafficking in Colorado when he was extradited to Wyoming to stand trial in Park County for the two murders. He was convicted and sentenced for 1st Degree Murder and 2nd Degree Murder. He is currently residing at the
Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington.
MELISSA M. MARTINEZ
September 7, 2003
Melissa, age 23, was murdered, September 7, 2003, by her estranged husband Timothy Martinez. Melissa and her two children were asleep on the floor when Timothy broke into the home and bludgeoned Melissa to death with a shot gun in the presence of her two children, Julia and Jacob.
Melissa was in the process of leaving her abusive and drug addicted husband. The children’s loss of their mother is great. Melissa was a loving mother and enjoyed doing things with her children, Julia 4 and Jacob 2. Melissa’s family her two children, her mother, Theresa Pacheco, Stepfather Joe Pacheco, Uncles, Aunts and cousins have lost a precious part of their lives.
Submitted by Melissa’s mom, Theresa Pacheco
Timothy Martinez was sentenced to life without parole. He is currently incarcerated at the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
June 11, 1992
Janice, a restaurant manager, died of a gunshot wound to her back by her former boyfriend, Timothy Smith, age 35.
Timothy Smith was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced on March 26, 1993, to two consecutive life sentences. Smith is also serving a sentence of two to three years for use and possession of a firearm by a felon. He is incarcerated at the
Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins.
VALERIE J. MCCARTHY
April 25, 2001
Valerie, age 25, was murdered, April 25, 2001, by her boyfriend Rehan Bhutto. He shot her in the head while she was asleep, with a pistol. He was sentenced to prison for life without any possibility of parole for first degree murder. Val was a postal worker, beautician, and a good mother of a 7 year old daughter, Shaina, who she dearly loved. Val enjoyed fishing, bingo, camping, and life in general. She is dearly missed, and thought of every day by her 2 sisters, parents, grandparents, daughter, uncle, nieces, nephew, and her many friends.
Rehan Bhutto was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for murder in the first degree by Judge Sullins on May 7, 2002, and is currently incarcerated at the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
May 2, 2004
Dusty was in poor health because of kidney disease most of her life. She had a kidney transplant when she was 12. By the time she was about 16 the new kidney had failed and she was back on dialysis. For the next 6 years she was unhappy, depressed young girl. By the time she got involved with Loren Lapointe, she was very mixed up and confused.
He wanted her to cut all ties with her family, even to the point of moving from South Dakota to Wyoming and not telling any of us where she was. In March of 2004, I got a call from the chaplain at the hospital in Rapid City, SD. She told me that Dusty had to have open heart surgery to replace a heart valve and nobody was going to be with her. Loren had been banned from the hospital because of trouble he had caused. She wanted to know if I could come. Of course I did come. In the few days following the surgery, I tried to talk to her about getting away from Loren. She said “Grandma, everybody else has always been afraid of being with me because they think I’m going to die.” So, she let him control her. Her mother told me that Dusty was trying to leave him the day she died. That was only about 5 or 6 weeks after her surgery. She hadn’t had time to heal yet.
Loren killed Dusty by hitting her with his car and dragged/pushed her into the mobile home next door to them.
I hope this story helps someone else who is in a similar situation. Maybe it will give them the courage to get away from that person.
July 26, 1992
Kary was shot to death at work by her former husband, Larry Voss, age 44. Larry had been stalking her for over a year. He was not charged with the crime because he committed suicide.
Kary, a retail manager, died from multiple gunshot wounds to her chest and abdomen.
Born December 19, 1956, Kary loved kids, animals, reading, the outdoors, and sports. Kary’s death was the impetus for the introduction and passing of the Wyoming stalking legislation. She was shot while working at a toy store in the Frontier Mall.
Submitted by Kary’s brother, Kirk McKinney
December 22, 1991
Rock Springs, Wyoming
*Brother also killed*
Heather McWilliams was murdered from a gunshot wound to the chest by her boyfriend Michael Raybon. Raybon also shot her brother and took her two-week-old child.
Michael Raybon pled guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced on April 13, 1993 to consecutive life sentences. Michael is incarcerated at the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
October 29, 1994
Willa Menzies died from a gunshot wound to the head. Willa, a housekeeper and seamstress, was killed by her former boyfriend, Robert Dale Dornblaser, age 34.
Dornblaser then committed suicide.
NATALIE LYNN MILLER
March 27, 2013
Natalie was murdered by her husband in an evil and violent act. Tom fired his gun seven times and five of those bullets struck Natalie as she was running to get away from him. Natalie’s mother and two children were in the house when Tom gunned her down. He then showed the gun to Natalie’s mother and threatened “you’re next”.
The signs were there from the beginning. This was not the first time that Tom had threatened Natalie with a gun. If you know someone who is experiencing domestic violence, it is imperative to get involved and provide support, resources, and options for the victim. Had the police been called on all the times that Tom had previously threatened her, she might be alive today and her kids wouldn’t be without a mom. Natalie’s mom was there for her last breath, wishing she could have done more to save her. Families should never have to go through this.
If someone threatens you with a gun, even once, take it seriously and get help. Don’t ignore the signs or minimize them or even slowly plan your get away. It might be too late.
Natalie worked at the Wyoming Medical Center as a professional CT and Radiologic Technologist and was attending classes to earn her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree.
Natalie was a caring, nurturing, and loving mother. Her beautiful children were the love of her life. Her greatest joy was spending time with them dancing, swimming, and roller skating. Natalie had a smile that would light up a room. She was a great gift to this world and everyone. She affected so many lives in a positive way.
Loving daughter, sister, mother, and friend. Compassionate, devoted to career, community and family. Natalie will be remembered by all who loved her.
Submitted by Natalie’s mother, Debra Boggs, and father and step-mother, Larry and Cheryl Brown
Thomas was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to sixty years for killing Natalie and eight years for threatening to kill her mother.
May 8, 1993
Carol, a truck driver, died of gunshot wounds at the hands of her former brother-in-law, Ladd Leyland.
He then committed suicide.
October 26, 1989
Abigail was killed by her boyfriend, Austin Timothy Blackcrow, age 22. Abigail, a daycare assistant, was beaten and slammed against a wall by Blackcrow, causing her death.
“Our Mom, (Abigail), she was special to us. Hugs and kisses were always a part of her Hello’s and Goodbye’s. She enjoyed drawing and writing poems. We not only enjoyed her love, but also her friendship, there is no one like our MOM.”
Submitted by Abigail’s three children, Lorena, Talya & Claude
Austin Blackcrow pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 5 to 10 years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary. He escaped from the work camp, was returned to the Penitentiary, where he was later killed by other inmates.
DEBRA A. MOTT
October 9, 1997
Point of Rocks, Wyoming
Debra Mott was stabbed many times by her husband John Reinhold in their residence at Point of Rocks, Wyoming.
Debbie was a great person. She loved people and was always ready to listen to you and to tell you stories that had happened to her. She always made you feel important and she would try to help you in any way she could. If you ever needed someone to talk to, she was there to listen. Everybody who ever met her was moved by her. She made a lasting impression on their lives. She always lived life to the fullest. She never had a bad thing to say about anyone.
John Reinhold pled guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced on July 6, 1998, to 25 to 35 years. John was released to parole on June 16, 2014.
June 14, 2007
Robin was a loving mother to Travis, Lauren, Robb and Rory. She worked in the Developmental Disabilities Division of the Wyoming Department of Health as a policy analyst. She loved to sing and spend time with her children.
Robin had a love for life that spread to all of those around her. She was a daughter, sister, mother, aunt, niece, cousin and a friend to many. Robin will be always in our hearts.
Robin was shot by her estranged husband David Munis while singing onstage at a local restaurant. He shot and killed himself three days later.
Submitted by Robin’s sister Kim Roberts
April 10, 1994
Big Horn County
Mary was killed by her former husband, John G. Sierega, age 62, with a .38 caliber handgun. Mary, a psychologist, had divorced Sierega.
Sierega flew into town and shot her at close range with a .38 caliber handgun.
He then committed suicide.
December 31, 1989
Rhonda, a nurse’s aide, died from a single gunshot wound to the head by her boyfriend, John Munn, age 33.
John Munn was sentenced on May 16, 1990, to 15 to 20 years for involuntary manslaughter. He was paroled in July of 2000 and released from parole on December 28, 2004.
July 17, 2017
My sister Lynne Poole had been a victim of her husband Rodney Poole. He had physically assaulted her over several years. In July 2016, Lynne was planning to leave Rod when he cornered her in her bedroom, shot her and her dog, and then shot himself. She was killed on July 17th but their bodies were not found until August 7th when neighbors called for a welfare check.
Lynne loved the outdoors, her dogs and to crochet. She had a den of fox that took residence under her deck that she cared for. Lynne’s life was tragically cut short when she finally found the courage to leave.
Submitted by her sister Nancy Jo Kunc
September 21, 1997
Rebecca’s husband, Leslie W. Potter, beat Rebecca L. Potter to death.
Becky was a housewife, college student, and a loving mother of three beautiful children: Andrea, Anthony, and Aynna. Becky was brutally beaten unconscious by the fist of her husband on September 19, 1997. She never regained consciousness and died two days later. The attack occurred during a birthday party for her 12-year-old daughter in the presence of seven other children – including two of her own. Becky loved her children, plants, gardening, and animals. She is deeply missed and thought of every day. Her family and garden will never be the same.
Leslie W. Potter pled guilty in a plea bargain to first-degree murder. He was sentenced on February 5, 1998, to life and is currently incarcerated at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington, WY
November 3, 2007
Jennifer was 4’11” and 95lbs. She was a dynamo. She loved people and worked in the service industry most of her life. She left behind two young sons, Jordan Suess and Ian Randel. She loved animals and her sons inherited her passion for homeless animals. The word “ELAN” describes Jennifer to a “T”.
She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her. Jennifer was beaten and stabbed by an ex-boyfriend.
Submitted by Jennifer’s mother Marianne Randel
Donald Lee Rolle was convicted of first-degree murder and kidnapping and sentenced on December 19, 2008 to life without parole. He is currently incarcerated at the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
February 26, 2012
Julie was a loving, caring, and compassionate woman. She had a smile and laugh that would light up the room and loved to sing and dance.
Family was very important to Julie, as she was a wonderful mother to three children.
She was brutally beaten and stabbed with a screwdriver to death, by her husband Myron Friday.
Julie is our angel watching over us now. We will always keep her love and memories close to our hearts. She is greatly loved and missed.
Submitted by Julie's daughter, Brandi Veach
Myron Friday accepted a plea bargain of 1st degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. He is currently serving his sentence in Utah.
June 30, 1991
Saundra was shot twice in the head by her husband. Since the murder occurred in Air Force Base housing, he was tried at Malstrom AFB and is now serving a sentence of 18 years hard labor.
Saundra was 25 years old when her husband murdered her.
She was the mother of three boys, the youngest having turned just one year old at the time of his mother’s death. This same child was in the room when his mother was shot.
Saundra was a native of Charleston, South Carolina, who followed her husband to his military duty station in Wyoming. After many years of abuse, she finally found the strength to leave. The mistake she made was telling him of her decision to go back to Charleston. Rather than lose her, he killed her.
Saundra was an accomplished, medal-winning golfer and ardent Bible reader who loved everyone she met.
The family has asked that her maiden name be used because they cannot bear hearing her husband’s name ever again.
Submitted by Saundra’s father, Melvin Hoyt Roberts
KERI L. RYAN
December 11, 1996
Green River, Wyoming
Keri was 22 years old, when her husband, Roy Dale Ryan, shot her in the neck. Keri had three children; Stephanie, 6; Cody, 3; and Cory, 18 months. She was a great mother and loved her children very much, wanting only the best for them. Bobbie and Steve Wilkinson obtained custody of their grandchildren.
“Keri helped me coach Special Olympics in 1991-1993. She worked well with handicapped children. Keri also worked for Southwestern Rehabilitation Center where she continued to work with handicapped people. Keri was my best friend. She loved the Lord, and had very many friends who love and miss her.”
Submitted by Keri’s mother, Barbara Wilkinson
Roy Dale Ryan was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced on May 26, 1998, to life in prison. He is currently incarcerated at the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
April 12, 2015
Janessa decided to protect her children, and herself, by leaving an abusive relationship with Daniel Guajardo. Unfortunately, he was unwilling to let her go. Several weeks after the break up, on April 12, 2015, Daniel broke into Janessa’s house, and shot her at close range, in the back, as she tried to get away from him. Thankfully, their young children were not present to witness the murder of their mother and be harmed by their own father.
Janessa Rae was an amazing and loving mother of three awesome kiddos. She was beautiful, caring, spunky, silly, and had a great sense of humor. Her wonderful personality and contagious laughter were treasured by many—and still echo in our hearts. Her family, and her children, continue to miss her dearly, and struggle to make sense of this horrific tragedy. Leaving a relationship should never cost a person his or her life.
Submitted by her loving family.
Daniel Guajardo was sentenced to 45 years to life in prison. He is currently incarcerated at the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
November 29, 1986
Deborah was shot to death by her boyfriend, who committed suicide just shortly after killing Debbie.
“Deborah loved life and was very aware of the world around her. She treated people the way she would have wanted to be treated. She had strong moral values, because she was brought up to believe in God. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
She was a wonderful daughter, sister, and mother. As a daughter, she was loved and brought up with love of family. As a sister she was Cheryl’s best friend, and was always there when she needed her. As a mother she has three beautiful children, Autumn, Brandy, and Jeremy. She loved her children very much, and raised them with the love of family as she was raised.
Debbie could light up a room with her smile. She was a beautiful individual in body and spirit. Debbie was loved by everyone who met her.
She loved to raise plants, her house and was filled with them. Debbie could make a flower grow where no one else could. Friends would bring over sick plants and the plant would flourish in her care.
We all miss her deeply, and there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think of her.”
Submitted by Deborah’s father, Larry Jay Story
DAPHNE K. SULK
November 11, 1997
Daphne’s frozen body was found in the Medicine Bow Forest. The autopsy revealed that she had been stabbed in excess of 15 times, including a fatal wound which penetrated her heart and severed her aorta. Daphne had become involved in an intimate relationship with 38-year old, Kevin Robinson.
She was in the ninth grade and pregnant with Robinson’s child. Daphne was the youngest of five children and is deeply missed by her mother, father, brothers, sisters, aunts, and many relatives.
“Daphne was a sweet, tender, and loving person. She brought joy and laughter to the lives of those that knew her, loved her, and cherished her. We may never know exactly where and when Daphne was killed. How she died, her pain and terror is inconceivable in our minds. But the fact remains – our Daphne is gone and I know then, now and always, my heart is broken.”
Submitted by Roberta Sulk, Daphne’s mother
Kevin Robinson was found guilty and sentenced to the Wyoming State Penitentiary for 15 to 20 years for “voluntary manslaughter”, 7 to 8 years for “soliciting to engage in illicit sexual relations with a minor”, and 2 to 5 years for “immoral or indecent acts with a minor child.” The second and third counts are to be served concurrent but consecutive to the first count of “voluntary manslaughter.” Robinson is currently incarcerated at the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton.
November 25, 1994
*Three other men also killed*
Cleo was murdered by her husband, Steven Swallow, Sr. Cleo, a homemaker, died from a gunshot wound. Her husband also killed three other people. Cleo died on the Wind River Reservation.
Steven Swallow was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 4 life sentences plus 65 years, and is serving his sentence in a federal penitentiary.
September 25, 1993
Betty was killed by her husband, Tim Talbott, age 36. He shot her in the middle of her forehead.
Tim Talbott was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced on June 17, 1994, to 20 to 30 years in prison.
He was released on parole July 25, 2012 and should discharge around 2015.
KELLEY SERENE TAYLOR
September 15, 2002
Kelley was killed from a gunshot in the head after being kidnapped by her estranged boyfriend Michael Allen Goltz. After shooting Kelley, Michael then committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Kelley is the brightest star that has ever passed through our lives. Her smile was infectious; her beauty inside and out made her the envy of many and a pleasure to others.
Her life was short. Her love is long.
Submitted by Kelley’s parents, Angie & Scott Taylor
May 6, 1995
Pam was strangled to death by her date, William Means.
Pamela attended college for five years, majoring in animal science, with a specialty in equestrian science. She had been an outstanding art student in high school.
“They say ‘Time heals all wounds.’ This is not so. I hurt as much today as I did in May 1995. I think of her every day. I am having a very difficult time accepting the way she died.”
Submitted by Pamela’s mother, Inge H. Clifton
William Means was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life on June 16, 1995. He is currently being housed at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington.
October 2, 2013
On the evening of October 2, 2013, Crystal went to pick up her 10 year old daughter Marie from her husband, Christopher Town. Crystal had filed for a divorce in August 2013. Although they were divorcing, Crystal still felt it was important for Marie to have a relationship with her father.
Christopher had picked up Marie from School earlier that day so she could spend time with him. Crystal had gone alone to the house to pick up Marie that evening. When Crystal walked into the house, Christopher shot her several times with a .45 caliber pistol in front of their daughter Marie. Crystal was killed instantly.
Christopher is now serving 75 years to life at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington and will not be up for parole until March 2064.
Crystal was a fun, happy, hard-working young lady who loved her family very much. She was a devoted mother to her daughter Marie and her step-daughter Hally and would do anything for them. She loved her animals. Her animals were always part of the family to her. Crystal was trying to improve her and Marie’s life. Crystal had a full time job, was helping teach the church youth group, getting involved with the church and going to Women in Faith and finding new friends. She wanted to have better life for Marie and her. It is so sad that this little girl is left with no mom or dad because of such a selfish act.
Crystal is greatly missed by her daughter Marie, step-daughter Hally, her two brothers, her mother and father, and the rest of her family and friends. She will be in our hearts forever, and a day will not go by without her in it.
Submitted by Crystal’s mother, Debbie Richardson
December 13, 1994
Cheryl met Dan Harris on a date. He raped her, then beat her to death and left her to die in the snow. She was murdered at a lake near her home in Newcastle.
Cheryl Varner was the mother of three children. She also left behind four brothers and two sisters.
Submitted by Cheryl’s father, Bob Buffington
Dan Harris was originally charged with first-degree murder, first and second-degree attempted rape, and aggravated assault, Harris was tried and convicted of first-degree felony murder and is now serving a life sentence, he is currently incarcerated at the
Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington.
MARIE FRANCIS VOLCIC
July 10, 1985
Marie was murdered by her boyfriend, Joseph Smizer on July 10, 1985; she was twenty eight years old. Maria’s badly decomposed body was discovered in May 1986 and had to be sent to an expert in Fort Collins, CO for positive identification, which also led to the discovery of a bullet in her chest area. Marie left three sons, Jacob, Phillip and Jeffery.
Smizer had told Marie that if she ever left him, he would kill her brother and his family and her mother and father.
Marie is very sadly missed by her sons, brother and friends.
Joseph Smizer was captured in Scottsdale, AZ, sleeping on a park bench. His capture date was one year to the day of Marie’s murder. At his trial, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. The Judge recommended no parole ever be given. He is currently serving his sentence at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington.
August 17, 2002
Green River, Wyoming
Her sweet spirit touched so many lives. She would help anyone who needed help whenever they needed it. Cheryl was a gardener, homemaker and loved the outdoors and nature itself.
We miss her every day and wish that we could have one more chance to hug her, kiss her, to tell her good bye and that we loved her. We did not get that chance nor did she.
Nothing can bring her back to us or ever replace what we have lost. Within our hearts is also a hole, which will never heal. We have only memories of her and of the way she was, a beautiful woman, mother, and grandmother who loved us dearly.
A Mother’s Love Is Never Forgotten.
Submitted and written by Cheryl’s daughters
Robert Siler was convicted of First Degree Murder, and is currently serving a Life Sentence at the Wyoming State Penitentiary, for the murder of Cheryl Ann Ward.
June 12, 1996
Jonnie, a homemaker and rancher, was killed by her former husband, Jack F. Weber. She was murdered at the family’s ranch. She died from gunshot wounds to her chest and forehead. Her former husband then committed suicide.
Jonnie Joy Weber was born on January 25, 1941, the fourth of five children. She had red hair, and lived up to the image of a fiery, strong-willed, redhead. As determined and strong as she was, she still had much compassion for others. She came from a hard-working, close-knit family and knew good, bad, and tragic times.
Jonnie went to high school in Baggs, Wyoming, where she met and married Jack F. Weber in May of 1959. They bought a ranch on the Snake River Valley and raised two sons, Matt and Chic. She worked hard taking care of her family, house, garden, and healing sick calves. Riding out in the open prairie behind a herd of cattle with all of her family by her side was one of her greatest joys in life. She was the backbone of her family. No matter how bad a problem was, she was there to lend a helping hand or a sympathetic ear.
She had three grandchildren, Jason, Amber, and Britani, who were the greatest joys in her life. Anyone who took a look into her chocolate hazel eyes could see a river of kindness. If there was one thing wrong with Jonnie, she was sometimes too kind and forgiving.
She will remain in the hearts of those who knew and loved her forever, and the valuable lessons of love and kindness she possessed will be passed on to future generations.
Submitted by Jonnie’s son, Matthew L. Weber
BECKIE K. CREEK WILEY
November 24, 1990
*Jesse Wiley – Age 13, Willy Lee Brady – Age 9,
Tyrone Wiley – Age 5, also killed*
On November 24, 1990, Beckie and her two sons, Tyrone and Willy, and her stepson, Jesse, were all murdered in cold blood by shotgun blasts to their faces by Beckie’s eldest stepson, James Michael Wiley.
Beckie Wiley was planning to graduate with honors, from the Central Wyoming College of Nursing in the spring of 1991. She was not to accomplish her dream.
The night before the attack, James had snuck out of the house and spent the night in a motel room with two girls and another boy. When he arrived home the next morning, after attending wrestling practice, Beckie told him she knew what he had done. He went to his room for his shotgun, found Beckie studying at the dining room table and the other three boys were watching television in the living room. James shot Beckie in the face, then turned and shot Jesse and Tyrone. Willy was able to escape out the door and tried to run away, but he was no match for the 15 year-old wrestler, and was dragged back in to the house, begging for his life. In his testimony, James stated, “he begged for his life, but I couldn’t give it to him.” James then attempted to start a fire in the house, but fortunately the fire department was able to contain the fire that would have destroyed crucial evidence.
Beckie’s life work was dedicated toward helping others. She especially loved working with people with mental and physical disabilities and the elderly. Beckie loved spending time in her garden and was always doing for others without thought of reward. She was especially dedicated to her children and stepchildren. She was known for her sense of humor and practical jokes. Beckie loved music, and was known for her singing, guitar, and tuba playing. She was a Christian and attended the Assembly of God Church in Thermopolis with Tyrone, Willy, and Jesse.
Submitted by Beckie’s sister Jolene Lux
James Wiley was sentenced on December 12, 1991, to 4 consecutive life sentences for first-degree murder, 20 years to life for second-degree murder, and 18 to 20 years for first-degree arson. Wiley is incarcerated at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington.
September 24, 1995
Jerri was murdered by her husband, Phil Wohl, age 35. He beat her to death in their home after having a dispute earlier in the day.
Phil Wohl pled guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced on November 25, 1996 to life in prison. He is currently incarcerated at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington.
ANITA LYNN MORELAND WOODY
August 27, 1993
Anita was killed by her ex-husband, Blake Leon Weaver, age 21, who then committed suicide. Anita died of gunshot wounds to the face and neck. Anita was born to Lloyd and LaDonna Moreland. She married Craig Woody in 1979 and moved to Evanston, WY. Craig and Anita had three children Michelle, Craig Michael and Amber. In 1991 Craig and Anita were divorced. She then married Blake Weaver. Anita divorced Blake after a 1 ½ year marriage but he continued to harass her. He returned to her house with a rifle to take her life. Michelle 12 years old had moved in with her Dad, his wife Bonnie, and their two kids Katherine, 2 years, and Patrick, 1 year. Amber, 9 years old, was staying the night with a cousin at the time. Craig Michael, 10 years old, and a friend staying the night were home. Craig’s friend ran next door for help. Craig Michael was on the phone with 911 watching his Mom wrestle with Blake down the hall; Blake managed her into the bathroom, her last words “not in front of my son.” Craig Michael and Amber, then also moved in with their dad.
Anita worked for Wyoming Downs where the flags flew at half mast following her death. She devoted her life to her children, and loved to care for family and friends kids. Anita participated in their school activities, and was a Girl Scout leader. Talented with arts and crafts a member of H.E.C. she received the homemaker of the year award. She loved holidays and made the most out of each one.
All the signs were there; Anita had even told people she “feared for her life and the life of her children” but no one knew how to help her. Educate yourselves to save a family or friend.
Michelle, Craig Michael, and Amber have their own families now and instill the love from their mother in each of their children. Michelle has a girl Abigail Lynn Withouse. Craig Michael has 2 boys and 2 girls, Erik Hayes, Zachary Sean, Alicia Danielle and Miya Nichole. Amber has 2 girls Alyssa Lynne and Madison Kaylee. All Anita’s grandkids recognize her picture and know their “Grandma Nita up in heaven”.
A Mothers love is never forgotten. Never a day goes by Anita will not be thought of.
Submitted by Craig and Bonnie; Michelle, Craig Michael, and Amber; Katherine, and Patrick; Grandkids.
July 20, 2014
Teresa Zimmerman and her husband Ronald Zimmerman had argued like any married couples over the years, no one saw any real warning signs. After having dinner with family, Teresa was sitting at the table eating ice cream with her grandchildren when Ronald came out of his bedroom and put a gun in Teresa’s mouth killing her in front of her grandchildren. Ronald was sentenced to 40 years to life. However, he hung himself in the county jail the day before going to prison. Teresa was an amazing mom and her grandkids were her whole life. She is missed be her loved ones.
Submitted by her son William Eigenman