Sarah Valley

Sarah Valley

A Star Valley woman is no longer facing a charge of criminally negligent homicide after taking a plea deal Tuesday in Teton County District Court.

Former Jackson resident, Sarah Valley entered a plea of no contest to felony delivery of heroin.

Police say Valley, 41, provided the heroin that killed Wesley Kiggins.

Kiggins died Jan. 14, 2017, during a visit to Jackson.

Police investigated for months and identified Valley as Kiggins’ drug dealer after searching cellphone and computer records.

On Tuesday morning the state of Wyoming, represented by Teton County Deputy Prosecutor Clark Allan, filed a motion to dismiss the criminally negligent homicide charge.

“The investigation in the case reveals the delivery of controlled substances to the victim by another individual within the same general time frame as the delivery by the defendant,” the motion states. “The state cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt which controlled substances are responsible for the death of the victim.”

Valley sold Kiggins heroin the day before he died, according to police.

The 27-year-old was fondly known as “Wootie” to family and friends.

Police cite text messages and surveillance footage as evidence of the drug deal they say happened in the parking lot of Smith’s Food and Drug.

But toxicology results showed a variety of substances in Kiggins’ system at the time of his death, court documents state.

Valley was set to go to trial later this month, but a plea bargain means the court will order a presentence investigation and proceed to sentencing based on her no contest plea to the felony.

The plea deal states that the court will have full discretion of sentencing, with the maximum penalty being 20 years in prison and $25,000. The sentencing hearing will be set at a later date.

Valley has been out on bond since last fall after she was arrested and booked into the Teton County Jail.

In court Valley said that she is committed to staying sober and that her recent drug tests have been clean.

“I am in counseling right now,” she told Judge Timothy Day.

Valley’s attorney Chris Leigh said the plea agreement is an appropriate way to resolve the case.

“There are multiple contributing factors to the unfortunate death of Mr. Kiggins,” Leigh said in court.

Valley will undergo another substance abuse evaluation as part of a presentence investigation.

“Keep up your work on the counseling and keep up your sobriety,” Day told Valley.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or courts@jhnewsandguide.com.

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and breaking news. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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