William Quillin

William Quillin

A Bar Nunn man suspected of breaking into his elderly neighbors’ home and attacking one resident with a snow shovel before hiding from law enforcement in his house entered a mental illness plea at his arraignment Friday.

William Quillin, 43, appeared Friday morning in Natrona County District Court, where he pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness to two charges of aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon and one count of aggravated burglary.

It was not clear what mental illness or condition Quillin has, but he said in court that his medications had recently been changed. He remained in custody Friday.

His alleged acomplice, Sharon Marie Hinkle, previously pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness to charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.

Law enforcement arrested the pair on Feb. 9 after a brief standoff in which the two refused to come out of their home. Members of the Special Response Team, which is organized by the sheriff’s office, used tasers, bean bag rounds and tear gas during the arrest and had to use force to detain Quillin.

Investigators believe that Quillin kicked down the door of their neighbors’ home in the 4800 block of Bel Vista Drive shortly before 10:30 p.m. the previous night.

The two entered the home and demanded that the residents — a 71-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman — give them access to a safe they believed to be inside, according to court documents.

Quillin attacked when the occupants said they didn’t have a safe, the documents state. He pushed over the woman, kicking her several times while she was on the ground, and then pursued the man as he ran for help.

Quillin later caught up with the man and began to beat him with a snow shovel that he found nearby. He also attempted to gouge out the man’s eyes, according to the documents.

He stopped attacking the man when a neighbor opened their door. As he walked away, he allegedly threatened to kill the man. Quillin and Hinkle then retreated to their nearby home.

Medical staff at the Wyoming Medical Center found that the man had two broken ribs, a broken pelvis, injuries to his eyes and cuts on his arms, wrists and arms, according to the documents. The woman also had a broken pelvis and bruising on her side.

Hinkle told investigators that she and Quillin broke into the house that night to “take care” of the occupants, according to court documents. She said she saw Quillin beat the elderly people but didn’t do anything to stop him.

According to the documents, Quillin told investigators that he went to sleep that night and didn’t remember anything about the alleged crimes.

Follow crime and courts reporter Elise Schmelzer on Twitter @eliseschmelzer

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Elise Schmelzer joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 after graduating from the University of Missouri and interning at newspapers around the country. As features editor, she oversees arts and culture coverage and reports stories on a broad variety of topics.

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