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Man may get five to seven years in Riverton stabbing

Jul 9, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

A Fort Washakie man who stabbed a Riverton woman in February should face five to seven years in prison after a judge accepted his plea agreement. In the deal, Heto Thayer pleaded no contest on July 3 to one count of aggravated assault and battery.

Prosecutors dropped Thayer's second charge of aggravated assault and battery per the agreement, and Wyoming 9th Judicial District Court Judge Norman E. Young conditionally accepted the agreement in a Lander court.

Aggravated assault and battery is a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The plea agreement stipulates prosecutors will not ask for a sentence greater than five to seven years, but the defendant is free to argue for a shorter term.


Thayer's charges arise from an incident Feb. 10 at the Comfort Inn in Riverton. Officials say Thayer, who was 32, stabbed Kimberly Potter, who was 24, of Riverton, in the back and punctured her lung.

The Riverton Police Department responded at 5:37 a.m. Feb. 10 to a call from a hotel employee who reported that a woman had been stabbed at the facility. When officers arrived, they said they found Potter standing by the front desk with blood visible on her shirt and jacket. According to RPD Detective Sgt. Julie Mathews's

affidavit, the officers examined Potter's back and observed a large cut on her left side.

"Potter was visibly shaking and stated she had just been 'stabbed' and 'it hurts,'" Mathews wrote in the affidavit. "Potter was asked to sit down, but she refused, saying she was feeling light headed and was having trouble breathing."

Officers placed a towel over Potter's cut and applied pressure to slow the bleeding. Meanwhile, Potter said that Thayer was the one who had stabbed her with a knife. Two individuals --Sharelle Brown, then 25, of Ethete, and Finceillius Burnett, then 26, of Fort Washakie --started to walk toward Potter, who indicated they had been present at the time of the stabbing.

Potter was transported to Riverton Memorial Hospital, where she underwent surgery for a single stab wound to her flank and a punctured lung, according to Mathews's affidavit.


Officers tracked Thayer's footsteps through the snow to Walmart. They saw the defendant at a check-out register, drew their guns and ordered him down.

Thayer complied, and police arrested him. Officers did not find a weapon on him.

Once the sun came up, they searched Thayer's path from the hotel to Walmart. Officers found a bloody knife in a black sheath behind a set of tires of a tractor-trailer combination along the route.

"He'd stashed it," RPD Capt. Eric Murphy said in an interview.

Police said Thayer was intoxicated at the time of his arrest.

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