Casper Man Denies Aggravated Assault, Burglary Charges
A man accused of bursting into an apartment and beating a woman with a baseball bat denied the three felony charges against him Thursday in Natrona County District Court.
Cody Warren Sylvester pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault and battery, burglary and aggravated burglary. He could face five to 45 years imprisonment and up to $70,000 in fines if convicted.
Court documents say on Sept. 29, investigators spoke with a woman who said she had been assaulted and raped in the Casper area.
The alleged victim said she had been in a platonic, live-in relationship with Sylvester. But, from time to time, Sylvester would use "manipulation, threats of violence/suicide, and coercion to obtain sex" from the victim.
The woman said she and Sylvester had traveled to Michigan in August for his family to conduct an intervention regarding Sylvester's reported drug use. While in Michigan, the victim told investigators, Sylvester had stabbed his own tires. She said she felt trapped, as though she would never make it back to Casper.
After they returned, the victim said, she lived with Sylvester, but ultimately ended their three- to four-month relationship and moved out. Sylvester, however, kept the victim's dog, "as a means to continue to control" the victim, according to the affidavit.
On Sept. 10, Sylvester had contacted the victim and told her to come get her dog from an apartment complex in Casper. The victim said she went to the apartment complex, but instead of going to Sylvester's apartment, she went instead to a friend's apartment, because she was scared of Sylvester.
A short time after the victim arrived at her friend's apartment, Sylvester allegedly burst through the door, carrying an aluminum baseball bat. Using the bat, he hit the victim on her left thigh and left "massive bruising," the victim said.
Sylvester then allegedly grabbed the victim by her hair and drug her across the hallway into another apartment. The victim said she could hear her hair being ripped out as Sylvester "violently" drug her across the floor.
The victim knew her friend had witnessed the assault. However, her friend was on the run due to warrants, so the victim said she didn't want to identify the witness to investigators.
Once inside the second apartment, the victim became extremely tired due to coming down from a methamphetamine high. She laid down on a mattress in the living room and tried to fall asleep, but she couldn't get comfortable due to the "massive pain" from having been hit with the bat.
At some point, half of a pain pill was shoved into the victim's mouth. She recalled the pain pill dissolving in her mouth, then falling asleep.
She slept until late the next afternoon. She had planned to attend her uncle's funeral at 2 p.m. that day, but when she awoke, Sylvester -- who was lying next to her -- told her it was 5 p.m.
When the victim awoke, she found that she was no longer wearing her leggings. She felt "super groggy and sick to her stomach," according to the affidavit, and went into the bathroom.
While using the restroom, the victim told investigators, she found reason to believe that she had recently been involved in sexual activity. However, the last time she had consensual sex with Sylvester had been weeks prior.
The victim locked the bathroom door and threw up. Sylvester banged on the door, demanding to be let in, and the victim acquiesced. Sylvester "threw" a cup of water at her, the victim told investigators, and started apologizing for "what he had done to her." Sylvester told the victim he would get her a new phone, then told her it was her fault that his family didn't like him.
She slept a while longer before leaving, with Sylvester refusing to let her take the dog.
The victim told police she did not report the assaults out of fear of retaliation against her, her dog and her family. She said Sylvester had threatened her in the past, and said he would "put a bullet in her head."
Sylvester, the victim said, was jealous over her staying with a friend in Glendo. She told police she was staying in Glendo because Sylvester knew where her family lived and had threatened them. She did seek a protection order against Sylvester through the Natrona County Sheriff's Office, which led to her reporting the alleged assaults.
The victim said she had sought the protection order because Sylvester had gone to Glendo and committed a home invasion. A report was filed through the Platte County Sheriff's Office, according to the affidavit.
When asked whether Sylvester had ever raped her before, the victim replied, "Not that I know of." She said Sylvester had the bat as a "weapon because he was a convicted felon."
On Oct. 4, police found the friend who had witnessed the assault. She reportedly said Sylvester had hit the victim with the bat multiple times, and corroborated the victim's version of events.
At one point, the witness told police, the victim said she was going to call the police. However, Sylvester took her phone and snapped it in half.
The burglary charges against Sylvester are related to Sylvester's entering the apartment in order to commit the alleged assault with the baseball bat.
Under Wyoming law, a person is guilty of burglary if they, without permission, enter a building -- in this case, an apartment -- "with intent to commit a felony." That felony, the charges specify, would be aggravated assault and battery.
The aggravated burglary charge stems from Sylvester having allegedly injured the victim after entering the apartment without permission.
Sylvester remains in custody on bond.