Judge Rejects Plea Deal In Charlie Mapp Murder Case
The case involving a Natrona County man accused of killing another man in an argument, will start over in court.
Judge Thomas Sullins has rejected a plea deal for 69-year old Charlie Mapp, who was originally charged with second degree murder, and pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter.
The deal called for a maximum of 8 years in prison.
Mapp is accused of killing Richard Abeyta in an argument back in August 2014, on the 400 block of North Washington Street.
Both the prosecution and the defense argued that Judge Sullins should accept the plea deal, because a number of witnesses at the scene were intoxicated, and trying to prove a second degree murder charge would be difficult, because the credibility of the witnesses would be called into question.
The defense also mentioned that they could make an argument, that Mapp was trying to defend himself at the time.
Judge Sullins' reasons for rejecting the plea deal, were that Mapp himself was also intoxicated and a firearm was used.
It is standard court procedure, that when a plea deal is rejected, a defendant can withdraw his/her guilty plea, and then the case would proceed to trial, as if the guilty plea was never entered on the court record.
Natrona County Assistant District Attorney Daniel Itzen said the original charge of second degree murder will be reinstated, unless a new plea deal is reached.
On the night in question, witnesses told investigators that there was a small gathering of people at a residence, and alcohol was involved.
Mapp had gone to get more drinks, and when he returned, Abeyta then started an argument, accusing Mapp of making advances on his girlfriend.
A short time later, Mapp went to his vehicle, retrieved a .38 revolver and shot Abeyta, who was transported to Wyoming Medical Center, where he later died of injuries that he sustained.
When interviewed, Mapp told officers that during the argument, Abeyta's language became abusive and threatening.
He also claimed that he was about six-to-eight feet away from Abeyta at the time of the shooting, and he had pointed the gun at the ground, and not at Abeyta's head, but police could not find any evidence, that the bullet hit the ground, or ricocheted off of anything.
Mapp is being held on $150,000 bond awaiting trial, and he could face between 20 years to life in prison if convicted.