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Man who made threats at WLRC gets plea agreement

Jul 18, 2014 - By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer

John Cardine Jr. can avoid a prison sentence if he finishes three years of probation among other conditions.

A man charged with making terroristic threats against co-workers at the Wyoming Life Resource Center has been allowed to change his plea.

John Cardine Jr. last week changed his not-guilty plea in Lander's District Court to a no-contest plea on a charge of making terroristic threats to co-workers at the WLRC, and pleaded guilty to a count of property destruction.

A no-contest plea is a not a guilty plea but is treated as one in court.

District Court Judge Norman E. Young said the first count is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Count two is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison, $750 in fines or both.

With the plea agreement, Cardine faces two to three years in prison, which will be suspended if he completes three years supervised probation for count one. For count two, Cardine would have seen 44 days in prison, but was credited 44 for time already served.

Cardine must submit to a psychiatric exam, along with treatment and aftercare if necessary, including counseling.

As part of the agreement, Cardine no longer has to wear an ankle monitor.

When Young asked Cardine to validate his guilty plea for property destruction, Cardine described the day he damaged a table and soap dispenser at the WLRC.

"I struck a table with an awl," Cardine said.

He said when it came to the soap dispenser, it had been moved the day prior to the incident. As he was leaving the facility and turned a corner, his eye socket struck the dispenser, dislodging it from the wall.

"I didn't inspect it before I left," Cardine said. "It was a stressful day..."

Young said he would decide on the plea agreement after a pre-sentence evaluation is completed and would decide on a dispute regarding restitution on that date as well.

Original charges

Cardine originally was charged after reports that he caused a public nuisance for his co-workers and bosses. According to an affidavit, Cardine threatened his boss, destroyed WLRC property, and built firearms parts on the job.

Lander Police Department Det. Sgt. Fred Cox said at the hearing that one of the threats involved Cardine's co-worker reading an e-mail to the defendant. The e-mail was from WLRC interim director Rich Dunkley, and a colleague reported that Cardine said, "I have a bullet for him," referring to Dunkley.

An affidavit in the case said the comment occurred Feb. 4.

According to deputy county attorney Tom Majdic, Cardine demonstrated a public nuisance as Dunkley took up residence in a hotel, WLRC installed security cameras and new locks, and a co-worker began carrying a gun in his pickup truck.

When authorities arrested Cardine, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives searched his house, Cox said. ATF found several silencers and an AR-15-style rifle converted from semi-automatic action to fully automatic, the detective said.

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