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Suspect in home invasion had ties to murder case

May 26, 2014 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

At the time of her arrest for the local incident Kelly Meehan also was wanted on a federal arrest warrant.

One defendant charged in connection with a home robbery near Lander recently had walked away from a term in a halfway house related to a murder case.

She had one month left at the halfway house in a four-month term, and a federal warrant was out for her arrest.

On June 22, 2010, federal prosecutors charged the defendant, Kelly Meehan, now 25, with three counts of evidence tampering in a case against Vencil Leo Ash III.

Meehan was living with Ash and at times claimed to be his wife.

Ash was facing first-degree murder charges for killing a Colorado man in 2003 at an abandoned farmhouse in western Nebraska.

Firearms involved

Two charges alleged she tried to hide a .45-caliber handgun and .270-caliber ammunition so the items could not be used in Ash's prosecution. A third accused her of trying to persuade another man to hide some .270-caliber ammunition for the same reason.

Contemporary media reports stated that Ash and Meehan were living with a third man in 2003 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The three were driving in Nebraska, possibly on the pretext of going to get methamphetamine, when they got out at the abandoned farmhouse.

The second man was killed, and authorities found his body buried under a woodpile in 2010, according to reports. Meehan at the time was 15, and Ash was in his 30s.

Authorities broke the case in 2010 when they responded to a domestic violence call at Ash's and Meehan's Cheyenne residence that spiraled into an armed standoff with police.

During the investigation, Meehan told authorities about the seven-year-old murder.

After pleading guilty to the first charge and the others were dismissed, a judge in November 2010 sentenced her to time served, plus two days in prison and two years supervised release to include six months in a halfway house.

Court documents state she repeatedly did not report to her probation officer. In December 2010, and a judge revoked her supervised release, sentencing her to one year in prison and two years supervised release with the first six months in a halfway house.

Then, after getting out of prison and while again on supervised release, Meehan shoplifted from a Gillette store in August 2013.

Court documents also alleged that she took a wallet left by a customer at the Qdoba restaurant in January 2014 where she worked.

Because of those incidents, a judge on Feb. 22 revoked her release sent her back to a halfway house for six months.

She walked away from the facility on May 12, and on May 13 a federal judge signed a warrant for her arrest.

On May 18, she was arrested after the alleged robbery of a couple living north of Lander.

An accomplice, Bow Hepner, 34, of Gillette, also was arrested in the robbery case.

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