Natrona County Detention Center

A Bar Nunn woman who joined her boyfriend in the home invasion of elderly neighbors in February was sentenced to six to eight years imprisonment on Tuesday.

Natrona County District Court Judge Thomas Sullins sentenced Sharon Hinkle for one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and battery.

While Sullins said he understood her defense attorney's arguments that her alleged co-conspirator abused and threatened her if she didn't go along with the scheme, but  Hinkle needed prison to send a message that society will not tolerate such crimes.

Before the judge handed down the sentence, Hinkle said getting involved with her alleged co-conspirator, William Mason Quillen, was the worst decision of her life.

Not finding help marked the second worst decision, she said.

Quillen, who is 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds, terrified her and threatened to kill her if she didn't cooperate, Hinkle said.

She has post-traumatic stress disorder, flashbacks and bad dreams, and her victims have suffered even more, she said.

"There's just so many people I've hurt because of my bad decisions," Hinkle said. "It rips my heart out."

Defense attorney Zak Szekely cited the abuse, adding the presentence investigation reported Hinkle was not prone to violence and accepted responsibility for the crimes when she pleaded guilty.

However, Sullins asked Szekely if Hinkle was so threatened by Quillen, why did she bond him out of jail on a previous charge and continue to pursue a relationship before the home invasion.

Szekely responded that she and Quillen met online in 2009 and met in person a year ago when he initially charmed her, but soon became abusive.

For those reasons, Szekely asked Sullins to follow the recommendations by two professionals cited in the presentence investigation and sentence Hinkle to probation.

The judge disagreed.

Sullins also chastised Szekely and Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk who at some time agreed that Hinkle should receive a six- to eight-year sentence at the Wyoming Women's Center in Lusk, instead of the previously agreed upon sentence of a seven- to 10-year term.

Neither attorney filed any paperwork about a reduction in sentence recommended at her plea change in August, Sullins said.

The plea also required her to testify against Quillen, who is charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated burglary. He could face five to 45 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Court documents say on the night of Feb. 8, the pair kicked in their neighbors' door in the 4800 block of Bel Vista Drive and demanded they be given a safe.

The neighbors, a 71-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman, said they didn't have a safe. Quillin allegedly attacked them.

The man was able to get away and went to a neighbor's house for help. Quillin reportedly followed him, according to court documents.

Somewhere near the neighbor's house, Quillin allegedly picked up a snow shovel and bear the man with it. The victim reportedly suffered severe injuries.

The neighbor reportedly saw what was going on and had someone call 911. Quillin left the area.

Both victims were taken to the Wyoming Medical Center.

Natrona County Sheriff's deputies found Quillin and Hinkle at Hinkle's home in the 4000 block of Bel Vista Drive late Wednesday. They tried to contact the couple, but got no response.

The Special Response Team was called out and a standoff ensued. Officers spent more than nine hours using a loudspeaker to ask Quillin and Hinkle to surrender themselves.

Tear gas and non-lethal rounds were used to subdue the pair. Officers entered the home and arrested both Quillin and Hinkle shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 9.