(Lander, Wyo.) – Pursuant to a plea agreement, Heto Thayer pleaded no contest to a single charge of Aggravated Assault and Battery in Wyoming’s Ninth District Court earlier this morning.
The 32-year-old Fort Washakie man is charged with intentionally stabbing Kimberly Potter in the back early morning one February day, an injury which caused one of Potter’s lungs to collapse.
Per the agreement, he pleaded no contest to one charge and a second similar charge will be dismissed. The agreement will make the prosecution argue for a sentence no more severe than 5-7 years in prison. The defense will be able to argue for any punishment it deems worthy. The charge, without the agreement, carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison or $10,000 in fines or both.
“Plea agreements are appropriate, but the court is not bound to accept them,” Judge Norman E. Young said.
He conditionally accepted the agreement, pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation. Thayer will remain in prison under a $75,000 bond.
With the no contest plea, Thayer was not required provide a factual basis for the plea. Young accepted the affidavit filed in the case as the factual basis, and Thayer did not object.
Detective Sergeant Julie Mathews of the Riverton Police Department, in the affidavit, said the attack occurred at or before 5:37 a.m. on Feb. 10, 2013. Police received a call of a stabbing victim at the Comfort Inn on North Federal Boulevard.
According to the affidavit, when officers arrived, Potter was found at the front desk with blood soaking through her shirt and jacket. She reported she was having trouble breathing from the knife wound, and she identified Thayer as her assailant. Officers applied pressure to the wound with a towel to slow the bleeding. When the Fremont County EMS ambulance arrived and transported Potter to Riverton Memorial Hospital, officers tracked the suspect, identified at Hedoduyehpau Thayer, AKA Heto Herman Thayer, across the highway to the Walmart store through tracks he left in the fresh fallen snow.
Thayer was located inside the store on the east side of the check out registers, where he was arrested. Officers who followed Thayer’s tracks in the snow, reported that they discovered the knife that they believed he used in the attack behind a set of tires of a semi-truck and trailer parked in the Walmart lot.