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A judge on Wednesday sentenced a Natrona County man to 15 to 25 years in prison for shooting into a house near Bar Nunn in April.

Judge Daniel Forgey handed down Lyle J. Clark’s sentence in keeping with an agreement between defense and prosecuting attorneys. Clark pleaded guilty earlier this year to two counts of aggravated assault with habitual criminal enhancements. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to lower enhancement penalties, which had previously carried a potential sentence of life imprisonment.

In Natrona County District Court on Wednesday, Clark declined to speak when the judge gave him the opportunity to do so. His attorney, Kerri Johnson, of the public defender’s office, said Clark had shown maturity while out on bond.

“He showed up here today knowing he was gonna do a 15- to 25-year sentence,” she said.

The hearing began at 10 a.m. with prosecutor Dan Itzen asking one of the victims of the shooting to speak. Teinja Womack, who was sitting on her bed when Clark shot into her Bar Nunn-area trailer home and killed her cat, Morris, said she could have easily died in the shooting.

“If that cat had not been hit, that bullet would have gone into me,” she said.

Womack said Clark had represented himself as her friend for decades before the shooting. She said she did not have the words to describe the emotional burden the shooting carried.

“There is no justification for what he did to me and my family,” Womack said, her voice breaking.

Itzen then recommended the 15- to 25-year sentence before Johnson spoke.

The defense attorney said her client had thought law enforcement wasn’t dealing with a case properly and took things into his own hands. She said Clark now understands how he acted was not appropriate.

After Clark declined to speak, Forgey handed down the sentence and Clark was taken into custody.

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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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