Man Admits Shooting Into Home Near Casper, Faces 15-25 Years
A Casper man faces over a decade in prison after admitting Wednesday that he fired several shots into a Casper-area home while two people were inside earlier this year.
In exchange for the guilty plea, Assistant District Attorney Dan Itzen agreed to recommend that Clark serve a 15- to 25-year prison term on each count, with those sentences running concurrently. Itzen filed amended charging information at the outset of Wednesday's hearing, reducing the habitual criminal penalty to 10-50 years.
Attorneys said Clark will likely have to pay restitution for the damage he caused to the home.
A Natrona County Sheriff's Office investigator said in an affidavit that Clark, who had been having a dispute with one of the people living in the home in the 3400 block of North Plateau Street, drove to the trailer home at about 1:15 a.m. April 7.
Clark was accompanied by his girlfriend, who remained in the car during the incident. Clark got out, walked to a fence and fired several shots from a .22-caliber rifle into the bedroom.
One bullet struck the family cat in the face. The animal later had to be euthanized.
Clark said in court on Wednesday that he had intended only to scare his girlfriend's father, who lived in the home.
The girlfriend's father told a deputy that he would have been hit by several bullets, had he not gotten up from his bed to extinguish a cigarette.
"My intent was never to harm [the girlfriend's mother]," Clark told District Judge Daniel Forgey.
"Your issues were with [the girlfriend's father]?" Forgey asked. Clark responded in the affirmative.
"I fired five or six shots into the bedroom after previously checking to make sure they weren't in there," Clark told Forgey.
The habitual criminal label applied by prosecutors is an option in cases where a defendant has previously been convicted of felony charges in three separate cases. Prosecutors say Clark has previously been convicted of taking a drug into a jail, receiving or concealing stolen property and third-offense domestic battery on two occasions, all in Natrona County.
Forgey granted defense attorney Kerri Johnson's request for a bond reduction. Clark's bond is now set at $50,000 cash or surety, and Forgey added a requirement that Clark, should he bond out, submit to random drug and alcohol testing.
Clark remained in custody at the time of Wednesday's hearing. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later date.