A Casper man Tuesday morning told a judge he fired a gun toward his ex-girlfriend’s house in an attempt to frighten her.
Eugene A. Banks, 28, made the admission in Natrona County District Court as part of a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault. Prosecutors dismissed three other counts against Banks as part of the pact.
After Banks entered his pleas, he told Judge Kerri Johnson that he threatened both a man and a woman in March when he shot in the air near the woman’s house.
The agreement calls for sentences for the two convictions to run at the same time and Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri can argue for up to seven- to 10-years imprisonment. Court-appointed defense attorney Marty Scott will be able to ask for whatever sentence he thinks appropriate.
Wyoming law limits imprisonment for an aggravated assault conviction to 10 years.
Scott asked Johnson to reduce his client’s bail requirement from $50,000 to $10,000, but the judge denied the request following a statement by Taheri noting Banks has three prior felony convictions and a prior parole revocation. The prosecutor also said a bond reduction could bring public safety concerns.
Although the details Banks’ provided in his admissions were somewhat circumscribed, prosecutors have said that he held another man at gunpoint and made him drive by the woman’s house before Banks fired out the window of the car.
The documents state that a police officer was in a parking lot near Poplar Street at about 2 a.m. on March 28 when he saw the muzzle flash of a gun fired from a Chevy driving by. Police stopped a vehicle of the same description and found Banks in the passenger’s seat.
The man driving the vehicle told police he had met Banks hours earlier at a bar. The man was giving Banks a ride home when Banks told him to drive by the woman’s house, the documents state. Banks then pointed the gun at the driver, the documents state the man told police.
When the men drove by the house, Banks shouted out the window before firing the handgun in the air, according to police.
On Tuesday morning, Banks wore a red shirt with his jail uniform, indicating jailers have circumscribed his contact with other inmates for rules violations. Following his hearing, he spoke briefly on the bench with a defendant in another case before a deputy led Banks from the courtroom. He remains in sheriff’s office custody pending sentencing.