Conspiracy Charges Moving Forward For Two Men, Third Man To Appear Next Week
An Albany County Judge has ruled that there is enough evidence for at least two of the men accused of plotting to kill a man from Cheyenne to be charged with felonies in District Court. William Ferrill of Rock River and Ryan Brown of Laramie both appeared in Albany County Circuit Court today for their preliminary hearings.
Circuit Court Judge Castor found that there is enough evidence for both men to be charged in Albany County District Court with Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the First Degree. Brown’s charge of Possession or Manufacture of Explosives with Unlawful Intent is also heading to District Court as a felony charge. The third man accused in the plot, Eric Farrar of Cheyenne, is scheduled to appear for his preliminary hearing next week.
The men are accused of plotting to kill John Squires of Cheyenne. According to arrest affidavits filed in Albany County Circuit Court, the investigation began when Brown’s step-daughter reported to her mother, Angela Brown, that she had overheard a phone call between Brown and Ferrill saying they were going to “do it tonight.”
Angela said that her husband, Ryan Brown, thought that she had an affair with Squires, and that was why he may have been planning to harm him.
Sergeant Shawn Davis with the Laramie Police Department testified at the hearing that an interview with Brown’s step-daughter revealed that she had known about the alleged murder plot for at least two months, but that she did not take it seriously until she heard the phone conversation.
Davis testified that the juvenile daughter knew of several plans to kill Squires, but none had been attempted. The girl said one plan involved sinking Squires in a large metal box into a lake. Yet another plan involved torturing Squires by taping his eyes open and then using a blow dryer to blow hot air into his eyes before killing him. The girl said the men had also discussed making the death look like a suicide. The latest plan was to rig the pipe bomb to blow up Squires’ truck when it was started.
Both Ferrill and Farrar allegedly admitted to knowing about the murder plan when interviewed by police. Ferrill told officers in an interview that he was to receive $5,000 from Brown for the job, and that he had received an advance of $200 already.
Davis testified that Farrar was interviewed in Cheyenne. Farrar allegedly told officers that he was to get $10,000 for the homicide. Davis said that Farrar stated that he and Brown previously plotted and succeeded in burning Brown’s house in Arlington, Wyo. for the insurance money.
Both Brown and Ferrill are defended by public defenders. Candace Pisciotti is defending Brown while Randy Hiller is defending Ferrill.
Pisciotti pointed out that the pipe bomb was inoperable and therefore not an explosive device. Hiller argued that Ferrill had not helped in creating the bomb and had even attempted to thwart all the plans that had been discussed.
The defenders argued that there was no proof that the men were going to follow through with their latest plan as they never carried out any of the others. They pointed out that no murder or attempt took place, even though police did not take any action against the men until after the daughter said they were going to carry out the plot.
Prosecuting Attorney Kurt Britzius argued that the bomb was in the manufacturing stage and therefore Brown can be charged for it. In addition, he argued that there were confessions to a plan and knowledge of it. In addition, he said the admission of the arson plot proves that some of those involved will follow through with felony conspiracies.
Judge Castor determined that the men should be bound over to District Court.
Both men remain incarcerated at the Albany County Detention Center. Bond is set for both men at $250,000 cash for the conspiracy charge. Brown has an additional cash bond of $50,000 for the explosives charge.
Meanwhile, the third man accused in the conspiracy, Eric Farrar, made his initial appearance in Albany County Circuit Court today after being brought over from Laramie County. Judge Castor set his bond at $250,000 cash. Farrar’s preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday, November 12 at 2 p.m.