April kidnapping suspect pleads not guilty
(Lander, Wyo.) – Robert Afterbuffalo, the suspect in a kidnapping case that ended in a high profile arrest in early April, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him today in Wyoming’s Ninth District Court.
The 40-year-old Riverton man faces a charge of Kidnapping-Confinement and one count of Domestic Violence Battery. The kidnapping charge is punishable by no less than 20 years in prison, with a maximum possible sentence of life. The domestic violence charge is a misdemeanor.
Judge Marvin Tyler tentatively set Afterbuffalo’s trial for Sept. 15. Tyler also said he would consider amending Afterbuffalo’s bond from the current $20,000 cash or $100,000 surety, however Tyler did not indicate what the new terms could be. He said those would be filed at the latest on Tuesday morning. Afterbuffalo’s attorney, Dan Caldwell, argued for a $20,000 cash or surety bond.
It was noted in today’s proceedings that Afterbuffalo has previous felony convictions in 1996 in Montana, and there was some debate between counsel over whether or not he was convicted of aggravated assault in 2004. Caldwell said Afterbuffalo was convicted of failing to register as a felon in Montana in 2005, for which he served time in prison.
Afterbuffalo was arrested on April 8 after police were called to First Interstate Bank in Riverton by a teller who received a note from a woman in a vehicle that stated “Call 911 now please call 911, Dodge Avenger 31766, He’s killing me,” state the affidavit. Police took him into custody while the vehicle was still at the bank’s drive-up window.
According to the court documents, the alleged female victim was found with injuries consistent with domestic assault. She reportedly told investigators that the incident began in Fort Washakie with an argument about who to give a washer and drier to. It is alleged Afterbuffalo began to assault her then, and she was afraid to leave. The pair then reportedly drove around the hills of Ethete during which he reportedly continued to hurt her. It is also alleged that Afterbuffalo broke her phone after she attempted to get help from a friend.
The pair then reportedly went to the bank so that she could get cash to buy some “hard drugs.”
“She stated that he then drove to the drive up window at the First Interstate Bank in Riverton and told her to get cash out of her account,” the affidavit states. “She told me that she filled out the check, with the note on the back, and waited for police. She stated that she had to give him the money or he was going to get mad and assault her again. She said she was trying to placate him until she could find a way to get help.”
The victim also reports that Afterbuffalo refused multiple times to take her home and that he said things like “I’m going to ******* kill you,” states the affidavit.