Former legislator now Teton County prosecutor
By Emma Breysse, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Date: February 16, 2013
A monthslong game of musical lawyers at the Teton County Attorney’s office ended when a new deputy prosecutor joined the team last month.
Becket Hinckley replaced Brian Hultman in the criminal division in late January.
“The contact people mostly have with their government is the judicial system,” Hinckley said. “I take that very seriously because along with that comes a lot of responsibility.”
Hultman crossed over to the civil division to replace Nicole Krieger, who left the office for private practice in September.
Hinckley, a former Cheyenne-based district attorney and state legislator, joins Clark Allan and Terry Rogers in prosecuting the county’s misdemeanors and felonies.
Before his wife’s company opened a Jackson branch, initiating the family’s move to Teton County, Hinckley held a number of legal and political jobs in various states.
Though he is a Basin native, Hinckley said he is no stranger to the Jackson Hole area or to its judicial system. Current 9th District Judge Timothy Day replaced Hinckley’s mother, Nancy Guthrie, on the bench. His father and grandfather also were judges, he said. His grandfather served as a justice in the Wyoming Supreme Court.
Hinckley left the state for college, playing linebacker for Stanford Uni-versity’s football team. After graduation, he worked as U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson’s press secretary in Washington, D.C. He returned to Wyoming for law school, then started work as an attorney in Cheyenne.
After a few years as an insurance defense lawyer, Hinckley switched to criminal prosecution.
He hasn’t looked back since.
“I wanted to be in the courtroom,” Hinckley said. “I wanted to try cases. The only place that really happens on a regular basis is on the criminal side of law.”
He worked for the district attorney’s office for 10 years before moving to Jackson.
Two of those 10 years he also served in the Wyoming Legislature as a representative for Cheyenne — from 2003-04 and 2005-06. His “signature” legislation during those terms included loosening restrictions on gun possession, including carrying a concealed weapon.
“I’m a gun guy,” he said. “I was definitely also a law and order guy.”
At the same time, he worked to add a felony enhancement to drunk driving laws. Hinckley was successful, as DUI defendants with more than three convictions in 10 years have reason to know.
As a prosecutor, Hinckley said he is excited to be in Teton County.
“I’m glad to be here, back in the saddle,” he said. “It’s hard to describe the feeling when you’ve got 12 people and you have to convince them that you’re right. But it’s not about winning and losing, the way it is in football. It’s about seeking justice, and I really believe that.”