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Judge sentences local man to probation for assault that prompted SWAT response
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Judge sentences local man to probation for assault that prompted SWAT response

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A judge on Wednesday sentenced a Casper man to complete a rehabilitative program at the Casper Re-Entry center as punishment for his conviction in a case marked by deployment of SWAT police to a South Conwell Street house.

Conner Boyden, 25, will also be required to complete three years of supervised probation in lieu of a four- to six-year prison sentence. If he fails to keep to the terms of the probation, prosecutors could ask he serve the time in prison.

Boyden pleaded guilty earlier this year to a felony assault charge and a single misdemeanor count of domestic battery. At that hearing, he said that that he had grabbed a woman by the head and her hair in November while inside a south Casper home. He also told the judge that he handled a gun in a threatening manner the same night.

When Boyden was given opportunity to speak during Wednesday’s approximately half-hour hearing, he did so extensively. Boyden first disputed Assistant District Attorney Michael Schafer’s reference to a victim’s initial allegation— which Boyden was not ultimately convicted of — that Boyden had pistol-whipped her.

Boyden told Judge Daniel Forgey that he grabbed the woman by the face but ultimately did not harm her.

“I didn’t aggravate assault anybody,” Boyden — who in March pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and admitted to handling a gun in a threatening manner — said. “The news made it sound like I beat her and held her hostage. It was nothing like that.”

Forgey ultimately ordered Boyden serve a sentence consistent with the plea deal he entered into in March. The judge also ordered Boyden to pay about $1,000 in restitution and directed he only have contact with the victim in the case when allowed by his probation agent.

The case dates to September, when the Natrona County Special Response Team, a sheriff’s SWAT team staffed by officers from a number of local agencies, stormed a South Conwell Street house and arrested Boyden. Authorities said at the time that they had negotiated with Boyden for hours before using irritant gasses to force him out of the house and arrest him.

In court documents filed following the arrest, police said that Boyden threatened a woman with a gun and grabbed her by the face and head. Once the woman was able to leave with a friend, he text messaged the friend saying he would shoot at responding police, according to the documents.

Boyden, who appeared free on bond by video Wednesday, has already served more than five months in jail following his arrest. That incarceration satisfied the additional sentence Forgey handed down Wednesday for the misdemeanor conviction.

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson joined the Star-Tribune in 2017. He covers courts and law enforcement agencies in Natrona County and across the state. Shane studied journalism at the University of Missouri and worked at newspapers there before moving to Wyoming.

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