(Lander, WY) – Bryce Teran, one of four parties involved in the January 4th, 2019 murders of Jocelyn Watt and Rudy Perez, was sentenced to no less than eight, no more than 10 years imprisonment at his sentencing hearing held on October 12
The hearing was overseen by the Honorable Judge Jason Conder, with the State represented by Patrick LeBrun, and the Defense by Dylan Rosalez.
Teran was also ordered to pay $14,794 in restitution; $7,000 to the family of Rudy Perez, and $7,794 to the family of Jocelyn Watt.
Teran was the driver the night of the murders, and was originally charged with three felonies, including two counts of felony murder and one count of aiding and abetting burglary.
Teran’s sentencing was delayed until the cases for the other parties involved had come to a close, as per stipulations in that agreement.
When the State addressed the Court, Jocelyn Watt’s mother Nicole Wagon was first asked to speak.
Wagon brought out a poster with a picture of Jocelyn and Rudy to display to the Court, which she said was to “give a face” to the names of the victims mentioned in all of the hearings leading to this final sentencing.
Wagon referenced the fact that it was two years before there was a break in the case and investigations were launched into the eventual suspects, and in that time “the community felt unsafe” knowing the killers were on the loose.
“This is unacceptable in Fremont County,” she said.
“In Indian country, everyone knew when my daughter was shot and killed,” Wagon continued. “Two years, nobody came forward. Their intent was to get away with it.”
“How do we make it safe again for people in this county?” Wagon later asked before requesting that Teran receive the maximum sentence.
“When they say justice; that’s just a word. When they say closure, we will never get closure,” Wagon concluded.
LeBrun addressed the Court next, and went on to explain how investigators were able to get to the point where all four parties were ultimately sentenced.
After initial leads from crime scene DNA samples proved fruitless, LeBrun explained there were almost no leads in that two year timespan until “massive amounts of cell phone data” were investigated through various search warrants.
Investigators found that a cell phone had been used to watch YouTube outside of the Watt/Perez residence during the time of the murders, which was later determined to belong to Teran.
It was Teran’s eventual statements to investigators, LeBrun stated, that led to identifying the other parties and Jocelyn and Rudy’s murderer, Brandon Monroe.
“Without that (Teran’s statement) this mystery would not have been solved, and there would be no one to prosecute,” LeBrun commented. “That’s why the State agrees to a maximum of 10 years.”
The State then went on to officially request a minimum of 9, and a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.
During the Defense’s address, Rosalez stated that Teran “accepts responsibility” for his actions, and hoped the Court would acknowledge that he complied with the plea agreement, and also “faced Monroe, who is a scary individual.”.
Rosalez went on to say Teran found himself with the wrong group of people that night, and that the “murders weigh on him constantly.”
The Defense ultimately asked for 4-7 years imprisonment.
Before Judge Conder’s sentencing, Teran also addressed the Court, and stated that he was “deeply sorry.”
“I should have stayed home that night,” Teran said. “I put myself, my family and my community in bad predicament.”
“I stand here as a man owning up to my mistakes, and ask for forgiveness from the families,” Teran later concluded.
Judge Conder began by acknowledging Teran for his “substantial assistance” in the case, stating there “would not be four cases” if it were not for that, but added that it was “hard to look at the (original) charges and just accept this one.”
“On the one hand, when two individuals are executed in their own homes, nothing seems just,” Judge Conder went on to state.
“He didn’t pull the trigger, but he was the lone adult, and the getaway driver essentially,” Judge Conder also remarked in reference to Teran’s culpability that night.
He then went on to address Wagon’s question of how will the community feel safe again.
“Everyone is going to have to stop drinking and doing drugs,” Judge Conder stated. “These are not victimless crimes when it leads to these decisions.”
“Everyone that night was using controlled substances,” Judge Conder added, calling the drugs an “aggravating factor.”
Judge Conder went on to say that Teran is “not a decorated criminal,” and believed that he “accepted responsibility.”
“You can’t fix what’s been done, but you can make something of yourself,” Judge Conder concluded before sentencing Teran to no less than eight, no more than ten years imprisonment, with 674 days credit for time already served.