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LeBrun granted month to decide on seeking death in hammer killing

May 5, 2017 By Daniel Bendtsen, Staff Writer

District court judge Norman Young has given Fremont County Attorney Pat LeBrun until June 3 to decide whether the state will pursue the death penalty for Florin Brandon Wyatt, who admitted to fatally beating Riverton man Keith Stephenson with a claw hammer in early March.

Dan Caldwell, who heads the public defender's office in Lander, asked for the deadline because of the effect it could have on preparations for a trial, which is currently scheduled for Sept. 25.

Caldwell's office does not currently have any attorneys certified to handle death penalty cases. If prosecutors were to pursue the death penalty, Caldwell would need to bring in both a lead attorney and an investigator from out of town.

No defendants have been executed in Wyoming since Mark Hopkinson was killed by lethal injection in 1992.

While living in a bedroom in Stephenson's basement, Wyatt killed the 56-year-old with a claw hammer and then fled Riverton.

After his arrest, Wyatt told police that Stephenson had tried to kick him out of the house March 2.

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2017-10-19

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