(Lander, WY) – Brandon Monroe, one of the four parties involved in the January 4th, 2019 murders of Jocelyn Watt and Rudy Perez, pled guilty to two of the charges filed against him at a change of plea hearing held today, Thursday, June 22.
Monroe was initially charged with two counts of felony murder, and two counts of murder in the first degree, all felonies with a maximum life imprisonment sentence.
As per the change of plea and amended information filed on June 22, the first two counts would be dismissed, with Monroe pleading guilty to the two murder in the first degree charges.
The life imprisonment sentences would be served concurrently.
The court, overseen by the honorable Judge Jason Conder, conditionally accepted the plea, and a sentencing hearing will be scheduled within 90 days of today’s date, following completion of the presentence investigation report.
During the previous proceedings, it was determined that Monroe was in need of a mental evaluation to determine his fitness to proceed, which was later conducted by Designated Examiner Katherine Mahaffey P.H.D.
After Dr. Mahaffey’s evaluation, he was deemed fit to proceed and subsequently pled not guilty by reason of mental illness or deficiency.
A follow-up examination by Dr. Mahaffey was conducted, where it was determined that Monroe, “did not meet the criteria” for a not guilty by reason of mental illness or deficiency plea, according to statements made at today’s hearing.
Both evaluations were sealed and not made available to the public or media.
Ultimately, Monroe pled guilty to counts 3 and 4, each of the murder in the first degree charges, with a sentencing hearing to be scheduled within 90 days.
County 10 will provide updates on the sentencing hearing when they become available, which can be found here.