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Kyle Martin

Kyle Martin, 21, of Riverton appears in Natrona County District Court in March 2018. He pleaded guilty later the same year to kidnapping a 95-year-old woman, and on Wednesday the Wyoming Supreme Court affirmed his prison sentence.

The man who kidnapped a 95-year-old Casper woman did not appeal his conviction on his own after his attorney declined to do so, and on Wednesday the Wyoming Supreme Court affirmed his 75-year prison sentence.

Kyle Martin, 21, of Riverton, has been incarcerated in the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins since shortly after Judge Catherine Wilking sentenced him in December to 75 years to life for guilty pleas to three felonies, including a single count of kidnapping.

In February, clerks docketed a notice of appeal in the Wyoming Supreme Court.

In April, Kirk Morgan, who serves as the Wyoming State Public Defender’s chief appeals attorney, filed a request with the court for permission to withdraw as Martin’s appeals lawyer. The filing states that Martin requested the public defender’s office represent him on appeal, to argue that Kerri Johnson, who represented Martin during the trial stage and has since been appointed a district court judge, provided ineffective assistance, and that the sentence Wilking handed down was unduly harsh.

Morgan, however, wrote that the issues Martin had asked him to address had no basis for dispute. The lawyer asked the state’s highest court to either review the case and decide it, allow him to withdraw from the case and allow Martin to file a pro se appeal or determine the issues are valid and ask an attorney to address them.

The next day, the Supreme Court ruled that Martin should be allowed to appeal pro se and extended the deadline for filings by a month and a half.

The deadline or May 20 passed without a filing from Martin and on Wednesday the Supreme Court issued its brief ruling affirming the sentence.

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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