Suspect faces three felony charges in Casper strangulation case - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Suspect faces three felony charges in Casper strangulation case

(File Photo; Trevor T. Trujillo, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — A suspect is facing three felony charges of Strangulation of a Household Member for multiple incidents dating back to May of 2021, recently released court documents say.

An affidavit filed in Natrona County Circuit Court says that the suspect, a 26-year-old Casper resident, was arrested in mid-July following an incident where a victim who lived in a Missouri Avenue home with the suspect claimed that the suspect had threatened to kill them and had strangled them during a physical altercation.

Court papers go on to say that officers responded to the Missouri Avenue address just after 8:30 p.m. July 16, 2021 and made contact with the identified victim in the case. Through the course of interview and investigation, officers say that multiple accusations were made against the suspect, dating back to May of 2021.

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Charges read to the suspect, identified as Tyler Lee Pearson, include a felony charge of Strangulation for an incident that occurred on or around May 30, 2021; a second charge of felony Strangulation for an incident on July 4, 2021; and a third charge for an incident alleged to have occurred on July 15.

Each charge of Strangulation of a Household member, according to Wyoming statute, is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.

The accuser in the case told police that they were involved in a verbal argument with the suspect during July 17 and that during the argument the suspect had threatened the life of the accuser. Following the argument the accuser said they tried to leave the area in a vehicle, but that the suspect attempted to stop them by deflating the tires on the accuser’s vehicle.

The victim claims to have exited the car and knocked the suspect over and attempted to regain entry into the vehicle, but was blocked from closing the vehicle door by the suspect. The suspect is then said to have entered the vehicle and put it into park. While inside, the suspect was reportedly struck by the accuser, who reported to police that they were in fear for their life.

The suspect is then accused of placing his hands around the victim’s neck and choking them for an estimated 15 seconds.

The arrest affidavit continues by saying that Pearson then told the suspect “something to the effect of we both got a good shot at each other, let’s call it even and go inside.”

The victim reportedly returned to the home and went to bed. It is then alleged that at approximately 3:30 am July 16, the suspect woke the victim and made statements threatening his own life.

Later that day it is said that the suspect returned to the home from work and took a rifle, loaded a magazine into the firearm, and chambered around. The suspect then reportedly started behaving in a manner implying self-harm. The accuser also reported that the suspect threatened to have a shoot-out with law enforcement if the police were called.

The accuser then told police that they left the home in their vehicle, but that Pearson was following them in another vehicle. While the accuser was in the vehicle, they contacted 911 and arranged to meet officers.

It was further reported that during an incident on May 31, the suspect strangled the accuser and told the accuser that he was trying to “re-set” them.

It was further alleged that during an incident on July 4, Pearson had forced open the accuser’s mouth and shoved a cash bill down their throat, causing bleeding.

Police say that a cash bill with suspected blood on it was recovered from the scene and collected for analysis.

Police say they were unable to contact Pearson on July 16, but managed to reach him by phone on July 17, where he arranged to meet and speak with officers. During a subsequent interview, police say that Pearson admitted to a physical altercation on July 15, but denied ever strangling the accuser. When asked about the July 16 incident, Pearson is said to have told officers that the two had been fighting and admitted to trying to deflate the accuser’s tires, after which he went inside and retrieved an AR-15 rifle. Pearson claimed that he was worried the accuser would attempt to take or damage the firearm, and denied that he intended any self-harm.

The affidavit notes that Pearson claimed he made connotations of self-harm to get a reaction from the accuser, and did so out of frustration.

For all of the accusations, Pearson claimed he did not remember acting violent or strangling the accuser.

The suspect was arrested and transported to the Natrona County Detention Center without further reported incident.

The suspect is expected to have a preliminary hearing scheduled to see if his charges will be bound over to Natrona County District Court.