Casper Man Gets 56-73 Years for Meth Conspiracy, Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Gun Crimes
A man who admitted in February to being involved in a meth ring and was found guilty on eight felony charges after a three-day bench trial in March could spend the rest of his life behind bars after receiving two prison sentences this week in Natrona County District Court.
Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking on Thursday sentenced 38-year-old Doyle Eugene Gabbert to 50-65 years imprisonment. Wilking included in the sentencing order a recommendation for Gabbert to participate in substance abuse treatment programs offered by the Department of Corrections.
Three months ago, Wilking found Gabbert guilty of three counts of aggravated assault, one count of aggravated robbery, two counts of larceny, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a deadly weapon with intent to threaten the life of another.
The sentence Wilking handed down Thursday will run consecutive to a 6- to 8-year prison sentence Gabbert received Wednesday from Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey on one count of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine.
Those sentences will run concurrently with parole Gabbert received in a case out of Converse County.
Charging papers say on Aug. 10, a man who was on his way home from work nearly crashed into Gabbert's SUV at the intersection of 11th Street and Payne Avenue.
Gabbert got out of his vehicle and an argument ensued, with Gabbert shooting out the rear window of the victim's pickup. The round hit the front windshield of the pickup near the rearview mirror; Assistant District Attorney Daniel Itzen said Thursday. The bullet was just two feet from the victim's head.
Then on Aug. 12, Casper police responded to a report of a weapons offense at Ridley's Family Market on Southeast Wyoming Boulevard. Callers said a man with a gun aggressively confronted and pointed a gun at people in the parking lot.
When officers approached, Gabbert took off in a vehicle, heading west down East Second Street.
Officers positioned themselves to stop the vehicle, but Gabbert pulled into the parking lot of Hobby Lobby. Gabbert ignored officers' commands to stop, instead running to the nearby Hilltop Storage, scaling a fence and stealing a work van from a woman who had left keys inside as she loaded the vehicle.
Gabbert again headed westbound on East Second Street, pursued by Casper police officers, Natrona County Sheriff's Deputies, Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers and agents with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation.
Gabbert turned north onto Center Street, eventually crashing the van into a fence and home near L Street and North Wolcott.
An employee of Arepa Barn on North Center Street said she saw the van pass by, clip a curb and stop at Roosevelt School.
Law enforcement vehicles pulled up shortly after Gabbert crashed, but instead of surrendering, Gabbert ran south down an alley east of an apartment building on North Center Street.
Gabbert ran to the Loaf N Jug at 933 N. Center St., where he tried to steal a Coca-Cola semi-truck.
Another witness said she saw Gabbert get into the truck's cab, again refusing to heed officers' orders to surrender.
Officers, their guns drawn, opened the cab door for a police K-9. The dog jumped inside and bit Gabbert, who was ultimately arrested and taken to Wyoming Medical Center to be treated for minor bite wounds.
Despite the chaotic nature of the pursuit, no shots were fired and no one besides Gabbert was injured.
It turns out that the chase is what led investigators to discover that Gabbert was part of a meth distribution ring operating in the Casper area.
Gabbert has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness to the charges stemming from the pursuit, but at the conclusion of the March bench trial, Wilking said the defense did not meet the burden of proof for Gabbert to be found not guilty.
Wilking did declare Gabbert a habitual offender on the aggravated robbery and aggravated assault charges, due to two prior felony convictions.