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County won't take more action on Bennett in Drennen's case

Jan 27, 2014 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

The Fremont County Commission has decided not to ask Wyoming Attorney General Gregory A. Phillips to re-examine the Gabriel Drennen case. The county board also will not ask Fremont County Attorney Michael Bennett to resign.

"The reason that the motion was made was because District Judge Norman Young signed off on the dismissal," commission chairman Doug Thompson said Tuesday.

The Riverton man had been convicted of first-degree murder for the May 2010 of killing Leroy Hoster, 29, of Riverton, but the Wyoming Supreme Court in August ordered a new trial and sent the case back to District Court.

Bennett came to believe Drennen acted in self defense and dropped all charges in the case on Dec. 18.

Hoster's ex-girlfriend, Kami Spencer, on Jan. 7 asked commissioners to call on Bennett to resign and Phillips to investigate because she thinks Drennen did not act in self defense.

She said was not surprised the commission decided against calling in the Attorney General, she said in a Jan. 23 interview.

"It doesn't seem like anyone really thinks Mr. Drennen did anything wrong and that his actions and his actually getting convicted mean anything," she said.

The statute giving county commissioners the ability to request the Attorney General's intervention gives the same ability to the District Court judge, Young, in this case.

"Because the judge did not raise questions about the propriety of dismissing the charges, then it would really weaken our request," Thompson said.

Spencer plans to continue with a petition now focused on defeating Bennett's promised re-election bid this fall, she said.

State) Bar Association," Thompson said, referring to Spencer. "The ultimate deal will be the election this fall."

Spencer does not know her next step yet.

"I have a few people I need to talk to ... see what their advice is and figure it out from there," she said.

Thompson also discussed why the commission did not ask Bennett to resign.

"We felt because there wasn't a direct link to impropriety, there was no reason to go ahead and pursue that avenue," he said.

Correction: This story should have said Leroy Hoster was killed in May 2010. The correction was made Jan. 27.

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