News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
No names in Lander slaying until preliminary hearing, at least
Sep 20, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer
A state statute restricting information about individuals involved in an alleged sexual assault is being used by authorities to withhold the names of the suspect and victim in the Sept. 11 homicide at a Lander residence.
Fremont County deputy attorney Patrick LeBrun said a non-disclosure order granted by Circuit Court Judge Robert Denhardt on the day of the shooting prevents the identities from being released.
LeBrun said he could not specify what charges have been filed or whether the alleged sexual assault victim was the suspect, homicide victim or another person.
"I can't discuss specific facts about the case," he said.
LeBrun said the suspect "has appeared before a judge and been heard on the bond."
He declined to say the bond amount.
"He will have a preliminary hearing," LeBrun added. "Once the matter is in District Court, it will not automatically open, but we will ask the court to make it available. At the end of the day, it's the court's decision."
A copy of the order to restrict disclosure provided by LeBrun's office states, "while the case is pending in Circuit Court, neither the names of the alleged actor or the victim of the charged offense nor any other information reasonably likely to disclose the identity of the victim shall be released."
The order will remain in effect until further order of the District Court.
The state filed the motion the day of the homicide and cites Wyoming Statute 6-2-319, which deals with sexual assault, for the restriction.
Police chief Jim Carey declined to release much information about the case, pending a green light from the Fremont County Attorney's Office.
"We are concluding our interviews, putting together our case file and waiting for all reports and information to come in," Carey said. "We are close to presenting the case for prosecution."
Carey last week confirmed the suspect is a 24-year-old Lander man, and the victim was a 32-year-old St. Stephen's man.
Although law enforcement and court officials continue to withhold the names of the two men, an obituary from the Davis Funeral Home in Riverton named 32-year-old Travis M. Armajo, of Lander, as having died Sept. 11 in Lander.
The police yellow tape that surrounded 947 N. Second St. where the shooting occurred in the early hours of Sept. 11 has since been taken down. Several individuals were observed last weekend moving furniture and other items out of the home.
Carey said either the suspect or the victim was renting the house, but declined to say which one.
Police received a call at 3:13 a.m. Sept. 11 about the shooting. Officers located a deceased male with a single gunshot wound to the head lying in a pool of blood inside the home, which sits on the corner of North Second and Jefferson streets.
Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said an autopsy was conducted on the victim Sept. 12 in Loveland, Colo., but he declined to release information about the examination because "it falls under the gag rule."
Last week, Carey said there were two other locations processed for evidence as part of the investigation: a vehicle and a house in the 800 block of Four Seasons Drive, one block east of the home where the shooting occurred.