IT TOOK NEARLY THE WHOLE DAY, LONGER THAN NORMAL FOR MOST TRIALS IN NATRONA COUNTY DISTRICT COURT, BUT A JURY WAS EMPANELED MONDAY FOR THE SEXUAL ASSAULT TRIAL OF CASPER BUSINESSMAN TONY CERCY.
THAT HAPPENED, DESPITE THE CONCERNS OF CERCY'S DEFENSE THAT HE COULD NOT GET A FAIR TRIAL HERE.

CERCY IS CHARGED WITH ONE COUNT OF FIRST-DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT OR RAPE, ONE COUNT OF SECOND-DEGREE AND ONE COUNT OF THIRD DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT ON A 20-YEAR-OLD WOMAN AT ALCOVA LAKE IN JUNE.

IF CONVICTED ON ALL COUNTS, HE FACES BETWEEN SEVEN AND 85 YEARS OF IMPRISONMENT.

DURING THE EARLY MORNING CHANGE OF VENUE MOTION HEARING, DEFENSE ATTORNEY JEFFREY PAGLIUCA SAID ANSWERS IN PRE-TRIAL QUESTIONNAIRES SHOWED PRE-TRIAL PUBLICITY AND PERSONAL CONNECTIONS TO CERCY WOULD MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE A FAIR AND IMPARTIAL JURY.

BUT DISTRICT COURT JUDGE DANIEL FORGEY SAID THOSE CONCERNS DID NOT WARRANT MOVING THE SCHEDULED SIX-DAY TRIAL TO ANOTHER COUNTY.

AFTER THE JURY POOL ENTERED THE COURTROOM, DISTRICT ATTORNEY MIKE BLONIGEN ASKED PROSPECTIVE JURORS ABOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF CERCY AND THE CHARGES AGAINST HIM, THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT; AND MEDIA EXPOSURE.

LEAD DEFENSE ATTORNEY PAMELA MACKEY TALKED TO THEM ABOUT THE LEGAL CONCEPT OF "PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE," THE JUROR'S JOB TO JUDGE THE CREDIBILITY OF EVIDENCE, THE PROSECUTION'S RESPONSIBILITY OF PROVING GUILT BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, THAT THEY MUST CONSIDER ONLY THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED AT TRIAL, AND DISREGARD WHAT THEY HAVE SEEN IN THE MEDIA OR HEARD FROM OTHERS.

ONLY TWO JURORS WERE EXCUSED.
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TRIAL BEGAN IN NATRONA COUNTY DISTRICT COURT ON MONDAY FOR A MAN ACCUSED OF MOLESTING THREE YOUNG GIRLS OVER A PERIOD OF ROUGHLY FIVE MONTHS LAST YEAR.

DOUGLAS CLAYTON JONES FACES THREE COUNTS OF SECOND-DEGREE SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR AND THREE COUNTS OF THIRD-DEGREE SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR. HE COULD FACE UP TO 105 YEARS IMPRISONMENT IF CONVICTED ON ALL CHARGES.

THE THREE ALLEGED VICTIMS -- NOW SEVEN, EIGHT AND 10 YEARS OLD, RESPECTIVELY -- EACH TOOK THE WITNESS STAND MONDAY AFTERNOON AND WERE QUESTIONED ABOUT THE ALLEGED ABUSE.

THE VICTIMS TESTIFIED THAT JONES WOULD ASK ONE OF THEM TO SIT WITH HIM IN "HIS FAVORITE CHAIR" -- A RED RECLINER IN HIS LIVING ROOM -- AND WOULD PLACE A BLANKET OVER HIMSELF AS WELL AS THE GIRL SITTING WITH HIM. HE WOULD THEN ALLEGEDLY TOUCH THE VICTIMS INAPPROPRIATELY.

BUT ON A CAMPING TRIP IN ANOTHER COUNTY IN MID-JULY, JONES ALLEGEDLY ABUSED ONE VICTIM TO A FURTHER DEGREE WHEN THE TWO WERE ALONE IN A FIFTH-WHEEL TRAILER. THAT VICTIM TESTIFIED THAT SHE WENT IN TO TELL JONES ABOUT CATCHING HER FIRST TWO FISH, AND JONES THEN SEXUALLY ABUSED HER.

THAT VICTIM'S MOTHER TESTIFIED THAT AS SHE ENTERED THE CAMPER, JONES WAS REMOVING THE VICTIM FROM HIS LAP. THE MOTHER TESTIFIED THAT SHE DIDN'T THINK ANYTHING OF IT AT THE TIME, BUT A SHORT TIME LATER, THE VICTIM DISCLOSED THAT JONES HAD TOUCHED HER INAPPROPRIATELY.

FOLLOWING THE CAMPING TRIP, THE TWO OTHER ALLEGED VICTIMS DISCLOSED THAT THEY HAD ALSO BEEN ABUSED BY JONES.

PUBLIC DEFENDER JOSEPH COLE OPTED TO RESERVE HIS OPENING STATEMENT FOR LATER IN THE TRIAL, WHICH IS SET TO RUN THROUGH WEDNESDAY.
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WYOMING GOVERNOR MATT MEAD, IN HIS STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS ON MONDAY, ASKED LAWAMKERS TO RESTORE FUNDING FOR THE WYOMING STATE FAIR THAT WAS CUT LAST YEAR..

THE GOVERNOR SAID SOME STATE AGENCIES, INCLUDING THE WYOMING DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, NEED INCREASED FUNDING BECAUSE THEY AREN'T ABLE TO DO THEIR JOBS PROPERLY AT CURRENT FUNDING LEVELS.
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HUNTERS AND BISON MANAGERS ARE SEEING A SLOW SEASON AS THE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK HERDS ARE LARGELY NOT LEAVING THE PARK.

HUNTERS HAVE KILLED LESS THAN 200 BISON AS OF FRIDAY, AND NONE OF THE ANIMALS HAVE BEEN SHIPPED TO SLAUGHTER.

MANAGERS LAST YEAR SET A GOAL OF REMOVING BETWEEN 600 AND 900 BISON FROM THE HERD POPULATIONS THROUGH HUNTING AND SLAUGHTER. THEY PLANNED FOR AT LEAST 372 BISON TO BE REMOVED BY THE END OF JANUARY.

A SET NUMBER OF BISON THAT LEAVE THE PARK EACH YEAR CAN BE KILLED UNDER THE MANAGEMENT PLAN. THE PLAN CALLS FOR A BISON POPULATION OF ABOUT 3,000. THE POPULATION WAS ESTIMATED TO BE ABOUT 4,800.

OFFICIALS HAVE ATTRIBUTED THE SLOW HUNTING SEASON TO THE MILD WINTER.