Home invasion robbery suspects held on $250k bonds; Hepner could face more than 50 years if convicted
(Lander, Wyo.) – Two home invasion robbery suspects are being held in the Fremont County Detention Center on $250,000 cash bonds each. Bow Hepner, 34, of Casper, and Kelly Meehan, 25, of Gillette, are charged in a robbery at a rural Lander home on Sunday evening during which two of the home’s occupants were present. The couple initially escaped in a vehicle that had been reported stolen from a school in Saratoga.
Meehan was apprehended by law enforcement on Sunday evening, but Hepner led Fremont County Sheriff’s Deputies on a search until he was captured early Monday afternoon.
Hepner is charged with Aggravated Burglary and Wrongful Taking or Disposing of Property-Aggregate. The Aggravated Burglary charge is punishable by no less than five years and no more than 50 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000. The other charge is also a felony with penalties of up to 10 years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines. Meehan’s charged with Robbery and Wrongful Taking or Disposing of Property-Aggregate. She was also arrested for U.S. Marshal’s hold, but information on that action is not readily available.
On Sunday evening, deputies were called to a home on the 8400 block of Highway 789 near Lander. The alleged victims, Allen and Joann Mathews, reported to deputies that they had been out-of-town and after recently arriving home received a knock on the door from a pair of subjects, later identified as Hepner and Meehan, court documents state.
The pair reportedly asked for directions to Rawlins and eventually asked to look at an atlas. At that point the direction-seekers were allowed into the residence.
“When Mr. Mathews returned (from looking for an atlas), he and Mrs. Mathews were ordered to sit down,” the affidavit states. “They complied. Meehan stood by the door blocking it. Hepner asked Mr. Mathews if he had any guns. Mr. Mathews told him no. Hepner did a search of the bedrooms and returned with Mr. Mathew’s .22 Magnum revolver in a camo holster, yelling at Mr. Mathews about lying to him.”
The pair then reportedly took money, credit cards, check books and a cell phone, along with a spotting scope and .44 mag speed loaders. Hepner and Meehan then reportedly left the residence and the Mathews were able to get a look at the vehicle.
Having heard the report of the fleeing vehicle heading toward Riverton, Deputy Prince noticed the suspected vehicle at the 789 Smoke Shop and Casino. The deputy reportedly approached the pair and asked why they were driving a vehicle with State-issued plates. Hepner reportedly said that the vehicle belonged to his father. While the deputy began a weapons search of Hepner, “Meehan was getting very nervous and appeared to be looking through though the vehicle’s contents. Hepner then broke away from Deputy Prince and began to run towards Highway 789.”
The deputy then reportedly drew his weapon and ordered Meehan to stop rummaging around and raise her hands, to which she said ‘no.’ Eventually the deputy reportedly attempted to pull her from the vehicle, and she got away by removing her shirt. The two struggled in the parking lot and eventually the deputy had Meehan under control but was pepper sprayed in the process.
Later a search of the vehicle turned up items that were allegedly stolen from the Mathews. Meehan reportedly told deputies she did not know Hepner and wasn’t aware that the robbery was in his plans. In working with the Saratoga Police Department, Hepner and a woman matching Meehan’s description were the suspects believed to have stolen the vehicle from a school district based on video surveillance. Hepner and Meehan were later identified as a pair who had illegally left a halfway house in Gillette on May 12.
When Hepner was arrested following a foot chase on Monday, a robbery note “similar to the type passed to bank tellers or store clerks” was found in his pocket, the affidavit states.