This is a selection of stories printed in the News&Guide’s sister publication, the Jackson Hole Daily. Find the rest of the story at JHNewsAndGuide.com.

Probation for death threat

Braxton Johnson was sentenced April 7 to intensive supervised probation last week after pleading guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault and felony intimidating a witness.

The 23-year-old was previously arrested for telling his partner he would skin her alive and kill her.

“These are some of the most chilling threats that anyone would ever want to read, and coupled with your previous violent actions you can see why [the victim] or anyone would just be dramatically impacted by that,” Judge Timothy Day told Johnson during his video sentencing in Teton County District Court.

By Johnson pleading guilty to domestic assault and intimidation, the prosecutor dropped one felony. Day accepted the plea agreement for three reasons.

“One, the victims are in support of this,” Day said. “Two, because you told me you are going to change for the better, and, three, I want you to have every incentive to do everything necessary to make sure this never happens again.”

Probation delays drug case

A Jackson man facing federal drug trafficking and money laundering charges probably won’t go before a jury until 2021.

According to documents filed in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming, Bryan Jones, who originally was to have gone on trial last month, is now scheduled to be tried Jan. 19, more than a year after his arrest.

According to court files: “The court finds an ends-of-justice continuance is warranted in this case for two reasons: (1) the relative complexity of the matter requires more time for counsel to effectively prepare, and (2) the current coronavirus pandemic warrants a continuance because the court currently cannot safely assemble the participants for a jury trial.”

The trial has been set for nine days at the Federal Building in Casper.

A grand jury indicted Jones and three co-defendants in January for conspiracy to distribute and manufacture a metric ton of marijuana and for conspiracy to launder money.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration arrested Jones near his Teton County home in December after a five-year investigation.

Contractor sorry for scare

Paul Rivers apologized Monday for a death threat he made in November at Town Hall.

“I apologize if I scared anyone for my stupid action,” Rivers said during his sentencing Monday morning in Teton County Circuit Court. “I was just trying to get an inspection, and that’s just the way the cookie crumbled that day.”

Town of Jackson attorney Lea Colasuonno said Rivers was hardly taking responsibility for what he did and should face more punishment.

“Just a 12-hour anger management course is insufficient,” Colasuonno said.

She said his stunt lowered the public’s trust in local government and decreased “the safety of our facilities.”

Rivers, 67, a longtime Jackson resident and general contractor, showed up at Town Hall last November.

Upset with the building and planning departments, he walked into the police department — just downstairs — and said, “You might want to get an officer upstairs because I might kill someone!” according to court documents.

He was promptly arrested for felony terroristic threatening and disruptive conduct within governmental facilities, a misdemeanor. A plea agreement dismissed the felony after he enrolled in anger management classes.

Judge James Radda accepted the deal but stressed: “There have been so many mass shootings over the last few years. ... The fear that must have been struck in those government employees had to be just appalling.”

— Emily Mieure

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

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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