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Past RPD officer says 'not guilty' to assault

Jul 2, 2014 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

A former Riverton police officer pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count of aggravated assault in Lander District Court. Judge Marvin L. Tyler tentatively set trial for Nov. 3.

The defendant, Frisco Saunders, 42, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

Saunders's lawyer, Dan Caldwell, asked that his client's $100,000 cash bond be lowered to $10,000 cash or surety.

Because his client has family in the community, owns property locally, and grew up in Fremont County, Saunders was not a flight risk, Caldwell said.

Deputy county attorney Timothy Hancock argued the defendant posed a danger to the community and the alleged victim, noting he is accused of threatening and attacking the woman.

Tyler said he would decide later on the bond and issue a written order.

The charge against Saunders stems from a June 2 incident with his ex-wife, Tina Saunders, while exchanging custody of their child.

According to an affidavit, Tina Saunders reported her ex-husband argued with her, threatened to kill her, and then tried to hit her with his Chevrolet Suburban SUV as she walked away.

Tina Saunders told police she leapt to the side, but the vehicle's side-view mirror struck her arm. Reportedly she suffered a minor arm injury.

Frisco Saunders left the Riverton Police Department in early 2009 in the midst of allegations swirling around the department and Fremont County Attorney's Office involving images of nude female county and city employees on a city computer. Saunders left RPD in the middle of the investigation, but his involvement in the incident was never confirmed officially.

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