Man pleads guilty to charges of interference

Rhett Breedlove
Posted 6/5/24

TORRINGTON – The Goshen County Circuit Court stood in session at approximately 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning for a change of plea hearing for Torrington man, Andrew McMurrin.

Initially, …

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Man pleads guilty to charges of interference


TORRINGTON – The Goshen County Circuit Court stood in session at approximately 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning for a change of plea hearing for Torrington man, Andrew McMurrin.

Initially, McMurrin had pleaded not guilty to felony aggravated battery, as well as two charges in relation to interference with a police officer and an emergency call. After reaching plea agreements with prosecution, on behalf of the state of Wyoming, McMurrin chose to plead guilty to interference in exchange for felony charges being dropped.

Judge Nathaniel Hibben presided over the hearing with Deputy Goshen County and Prosecuting Attorney Colby Sturgeon representing the state’s case.

Public defender Kayla Fosmo was additionally present in representing the defense of McMurrin.

“What we have is a rebound from district court which says there is an amendment with charges to the case,” judge Hibben began. “There are two charges which account to interfering with a peace officer and interfering with a 911 call. Do you understand there will not be a trial, and have you had time to speak with your lawyer before pleading to those two charges?”

The defendant answered judge Hibben in the affirmative, noting extensive advice and consultation had indeed taken place between himself and Ms. Fosmo.

Additionally, it was required of the state prosecution to disclose the current stance regarding the case, charges, and plea agreement.

“Most of what the plea agreement was is as you reiterated, Your Honor,” Sturgeon said. “We dismissed the aggravated battery charge in district court which was a felony that had been bound over. With that Your Honor, we have agreed to dismiss that charge and have also spoken with the victim, which is something she wanted to happen. She also wanted the no-contact order lifted between the two parties, both herself and him. So today he will be pleading guilty to interference of a peace officer, as well as interfering with an emergency call. I find the time he has already served is appropriate, he has employment, and he has been working. That’s really all we have for today, Your Honor.”

After hearing statements in regard to plea agreements proposed by the state, the defense was required to ask mandatory factual questions before the guilty pleas could be accepted by the court.

“The only agreement is the state would agree to recommend a suspended sentence as well as a probation term, so he doesn’t do any more jail time than he’s already done,” Fosmo stated. “We would then argue for a fine.”

Fosmo then turned to her client. “Mr. McMurrin on April 23 were you in Goshen County Wyoming?”

McMurrin under oath responded in the affirmative.

“On that date did you and your girlfriend get into a disagreement? During that disagreement did she try to call 911? Did you take the phone from her hand with the intent to prevent her from calling 911? Was 911 in fact called at some point in time? When law enforcement came to your house and when they came to arrest you, did you hide from law enforcement? Did you know that was interfering with their duties to talk to you?”

The defendant once again answered in the affirmative to all his legal representation’s questions.

“The state is correct Mr. McMurrin has employment as he and his girlfriend are expecting a baby within the next month,” Fosmo continued. “So very soon they wish to be reunited so he can help in parenting their baby as well as their older child. We would ask the maximum probation term [to] be 18 months to run consecutively and would ask for unsupervised probation in order to pay fines on this matter. With the new baby and child costs, my client would ask for additional time to pay those off.”

Once both state and defense counsel finished statements, the defendant was given an opportunity to speak before the court regarding the matter.

It should be noted McMurrin showed remorse and accountability for what had taken place between him and his female partner last April.

“It could have been a lot worse,” McMurrin said. “I realize now how people can be affected, and I need to be more patient with my anger.”

Judge Hibben then responded in the direction of the defendant just prior to accepting the plea and handing down sentencing.

“That is a mature thing to say, and I would like you to remember that going into the future,” Hibben said. “You had a serious charge which has now been dismissed. With the last six weeks of being in and out of the courtroom you have found yourself in, please remember you are going to be a father in a couple of weeks. Your child and their mother will depend on you, and perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here as well. It is not possible to harm someone who is dependent on you without harming yourself at the same time.”

The circuit court judge then proceeded to accept the guilty plea on both charges, as well as discussing the appropriate sentence to be handed down in concurrence with both the stance of defense and state prosecution. 

“Mr. McMurrin I will take into account the plea agreement, and I will follow it,” Hibben said to the defendant. “For the interference of a peace officer, you will serve 90 days in jail with credit to seven already served, with 83 days suspended. Your probation will be unsupervised, and it will be a one-year probationary period.”

Judge Hibben then shifted his words to the defendant and spoke of reasonable concern in which alcohol or other substances may have played a role in McMurrin’s case.

“Mr. McMurrin, I want to acknowledge something, and I have no knowledge whether it is true or not in your case, but is true with this court in matters of jurisdiction,” Hibben continued. “With most criminal offenses it seems as if alcohol, controlled substances, mental illness components, or all at the same time play a factor. It is fairly rare we have a case come before this court where a criminal offense doesn’t have one or all of those three things going on at one time. As I say this it’s not about your case, but it is a general comment. What I’m looking for is to see if there needs to be anything addressed about alcohol or substances during your probation. I’m not going to restrict it, but what I will do is require you to obtain a clinical assessment brought on by my part. You need to get a clinical evaluation, and there are two places in Torrington where you can receive them.”

“Sometimes I see a need for another type of therapy, and I want you to follow the recommendations for whatever the assessment says,” Hibben continued. “It is a court order, and you have 83 days of suspended jail which is hopefully all the motivation you need. It has a medical component in a sealed file, so no one else can see it. I want you to know I will read it and will read every single one of them. I read every word of them. Not because I’m nosey, but because this court sees it as part of the accountability. It’s not just 20 pages of paper, but a real assessment which I expect you to follow through. I’m not going to pre-judge whether you even need recommendations, but you need to get that within thirty days and disclose a copy of it to the court. Those are the terms of your probation. Good luck to you, and make sure you don’t come back to court on a criminal charge. We would be happy to have you serve on a jury trial, but it would be in your best interest to not come back for another criminal charge.”

The court would stand in recess at precisely 10:54 a.m.