In 2017, the Albany County courts saw an increase in felony cases in District and Circuit courts, a man charged with multiple sex-related crimes died in a police shootout and several special units were created by the Albany County Attorney’s Office.
County courts report increase in felonies
The Albany County District Court saw more than 190 felony cases in 2017, more than twice as many as in 2015. Of the felony cases in District Court, about 60 percent were related to drugs or alcohol.
County officials are not sure how long the increase of controlled substance cases will last but the justice system is doing everything they can to handle it, Albany County prosecuting attorney Peggy Trent said.
The formation of special units
The Albany County Attorney’s Office put together several special units to better enforce and prosecute different types of crimes. These units — such as DUI enforcement and domestic crime enforcement — are being used by Albany County law enforcement to make the community a safer place, Albany County prosecuting attorney Peggy Trent said.
The special victims unit specializes in domestic situations and with the training officers and prosecutors receive, crimes that were once not enforced such as strangulation of household members have more attention and are prosecuted more often, Trent said.
Sexual assault suspect dies in police shootout
Former Laramie therapist Scott Addison died Dec. 6 in a shootout with Laramie County law enforcement officers in Cheyenne. Addison was charged with one count of blackmail, two charges of attempted blackmail, one charge of sexual assault, one charge of felonious restraint, one charge of possession of a controlled substance and 20 charges of sexual exploitation of a minor in Albany County.
Addison was stopped in Cheyenne by a Laramie County Sheriff’s Deputy who recognized Addison’s vehicle after a warrant for his arrest was issued for violating conditions of his bond. The deputy pulled the vehicle over and asked Addison to step outside, but Addison sat in his vehicle for about an hour and after three Cheyenne Police Department officers arrived to assist the sheriff’s deputy, Addison exited his vehicle “with a rifle in his hands” and fired, according to a Cheyenne Police Department news release. The officers then returned fire and Addison was struck and later pronounced dead, the release states.
It was not know at the time of his death if it was the result of the police gunfire or self inflicted.
Local man pleads guilty to murder
Trevor Sanford pleaded guilty in November to first degree murder in connection with a call the Albany County Sheriff’s Office received March 29 regarding a deceased individual. Sanford was staying with the victim, identified as Marilyn “Kay” Dlugosh, in the days leading to the incident. Sanford allegedly took the victim’s cellphone and several bank cards, which law enforcement agencies were able to use to locate him in Colorado.
Sanford’s District Court sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 26.
Charges dropped for cold case suspect
Charges for Fredrick Lamb, a suspect in the 1985 murder of Shelli Wiley, were dropped without prejudice. Lamb was charged with first degree murder and arson but the charges were dropped and sealed in November after his expungement hearing.
The Albany County Attorney’s Office is waiting to receive DNA test results from samples found at the crime scene and they could refile charges against Lamb if evidence is found in the DNA.