Pregnant Wyoming Woman Fends Off Burglars with a Gun
In a nightmarish sequence of events, a Casper woman fought for her family when she ran upstairs to get a gun and scared off two burglars who had entered their home.
On a Saturday morning in November, the pregnant woman was sitting on the couch when she heard knocking at the door. She checked security cameras and noted two men she did not recognize standing at the door. They continued knocking and scratching, which scared her, and she sent her daughter upstairs where the father was sleeping.
The men knocked two more times before busting in. "What's up? What's up?" the first man yelled and then headed towards the bedroom where the child was with her father. The woman heard someone trying to open the gun case and then the man say, "you weren't fast enough." Standing in shock, she told investigators she didn't know what to do in that moment.
When the second man entered and began walking towards their daughter, the woman followed, trying to get to her, but the man "came at" her as if to push her, so she backed up, yelling she was pregnant. She told investigators that he never did hurt her.
During this, the father said he was being attacked by the first man who came in. The struggle made its way into the living room where they both fell onto the couch, which investigators would later note was broken in the middle.
At that point, the victim was able to get past the men fighting and retrieved the gun. When she pointed it at the suspects, one ran off immediately; it took the second a moment to realize she had a gun, but when he did, he ran out, too -- per the woman's interview with police.
The security cameras were later reviewed by detectives who were able to see the men force the door open and leave at a time consistent with the victims' statements. The men were identified as 40-year-old Joel Lee Wilson and 34-year-old Daniel Charles Hemmer.
Wilson was located about five hours later and interviewed at the Casper Police Department. He admitted to the burglary, but said that Hemmer had talked him into it. He also hinted that Hemmer had intimidated him in an earlier incident and was carrying a black semi-automatic pistol.
Wilson told authorities that Hemmer told him they were going to rob a "dope house" where he knew drugs were located, but when they broke in and saw the occupants of the home he noticed they "didn't look like drug dealers...they looked like a regular family."
Contrary to his disclosure to law enforcement, further investigation turned up an iPad Hemmer was using. He had earlier exchanged the following messages with Wilson:
Hemmer: 8:55 AM: Wanna go serve someone
Hemmer: 9:00 AM: F----r wake up and put semi nice clothes on
Hemmer: 9:20 AM: TeLl me ur ready
Hemmer: 9:36 AM: Ok I'll ride solo if you dont wanna
Wilson: 10:03 AM: I'm moving towards you now
Hemmer: 10:04 AM: Cool
Hemmer: 10:05: How close are you
When it became apparent to Hemmer that he was going to jail, he grabbed a chair in the CPD interview room and threw it directly at a two-way glass, causing it to partially shatter. An estimated $2,500 in damages.
Tracking down Wilson took a little longer. He was found the following day by chance. An officer was at the East Wal Mart for an unrelated matter, according to court records, when he saw Wilson stick his head out of an RV parked in the lot.
More officers arrived and they brought him to the police department for an interview. Wilson said the pair's reasoning for the break-in was because Hemmer wanted to "collect a debt."
The woman living in the RV with Wilson in the Wal Mart parking lot told police that the night before, Wilson told her that they had broken into the wrong home and had to fight a dog. Authorites obtained a search warrant and located several pieces of burnt tinfoil that had been used to smoke fentanyl in the RV. They also found a tin of meth residue and used syringes that tested positive, as well as a sweatshirt like the one seen on camera at the victims' house.
At Hemmer's residence, detectives found a glass pipe with suspected meth residue in a toolbox. A 7-month-old child was living at the house. They also found the jacket he appeared to be wearing in the footage.
Both men were charged with Aggravated Burglary - Knowingly Inflicting Bodily Injury, a felony punsihable by up to 25 years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine; Property Destruction greater than $1,000, punishable by up to six months in jail; and a third time Possession of Controlled Substances, punishable by up to five years in prison.
Wilson was additionally charged with a Breach of Peace and Hemmer a Child Endangerment charge. Bond is set at $400,000 cash only for Wilson and $300,000 in cash for Hemmer. Both cases have been bound over to District Court.
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