Hepner pleads guilty to Aggravated Burglary, and could serve 12-15 years
(Lander, Wyo.) – Bow Hepner, 34, of Casper, has pleaded guilty to a single charge of Aggravated Burglary in connection to a mid-May home invasion outside of Lander.
Hepner is alleged to be one of two people that entered the Mathews family home and told them to sit while they took items from the house, including a firearm and ammunition.
The plea was made this afternoon in connection to a plea agreement. A second charge of Wrongful Taking or Disposing of Property-Aggregate was dismissed. Additionally, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has agreed to not pursue Aggravated Robbery, Wrongful Taking or Disposing of Property, or firearms charges in connection to the incident.
The agreement stipulates that Hepner will serve 12-15 years in prison for the crime. He also agrees to expedite the return of stolen property.
Hepner was required to give a factual basis for his plea. He said that he and his girlfriend, co-defendent Kelly Meehan, 25, of Gillette, were driving between Riverton and Lander that evening when he told her that he would stop and ask for directions. He said his intention all along was to rob the home. “I didn’t tell her what I was going to do,” Hepner said of Meehan.
He admitted to getting the Mathews to let him into the home, where he said he went through their things and took a number of items, including a gun. Hepner said he did not threaten either of them with the gun. “I never took it out of the holster,” he said.
Judge Norman E. Young has conditionally accepted the plea agreement, and sentencing will take place at a later date.
Meehan was also arraigned in the Ninth District Court today. She is charged with Robbery and Wrongful Taking or Disposing of Property-Aggregate. She pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Young allowed that the pair may communicate through written correspondence that is monitored by the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office.
Security was increased in at the courthouse with Hepner’s presence. At least six deputies were present, as were two Lander Police Officers. Read more background on the case here.