A local teen admitted Wednesday morning his involvement in a Casper drive-by shooting as part of a deal with prosecutors that means he could avoid substantial prison time.
Quincy Brow, 17, pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault in Natrona County District Court for his part in the shooting. He also entered a guilty plea to a felony count of possession of cocaine, which prosecutors charged him with after police found the drug in his pocket during his arrest in relation to the shooting. The Natrona County District Attorney’s Office has not alleged any connection other than chronology between the two crimes.
Brow is one of five people, none older than 25 and only one older than 17, who prosecutors say shot up a Paradise Valley home following an extensive social media feud. In addition to Brow, two teens have been charged as adults. One has pleaded not guilty and the other still awaits arraignment. Prosecutors charged the fourth teen in juvenile court and his case remains sealed to the public.
The 25-year-old, Matthew Nietert, has pleaded not guilty.
In exchange for the two guilty pleas, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the other felonies Brow faced: conspiracy to commit property destruction, possession of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent and possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. Both prosecution and defense attorneys will ask Judge Daniel Forgey sentence Brow to five to seven years imprisonment with a boot camp recommendation.
With such a recommendation, a person can attend the Corrections Department’s youthful offender program in Newcastle. People who successfully complete the program — which is limited to men younger than 25 and typically takes six months to complete — can then ask a judge to modify their sentence. Judges often choose to suspend the remainder of the prison time faced by a successful graduate and put them on probation.
On Wednesday morning, Brow appeared in Natrona County District Court for the first time since his arrest in May. Although he had been scheduled to be heard by the judge first, a near-inversion of Forgey’s docket meant he spent more than an hour waiting on a courtroom bench.
At about 9:40 a.m., when the judge finished reading legal warnings to people waiting to first hear their charges in the felony court, Brow and his court-appointed attorney made their way to the lectern. Joe Hampton, of the Natrona County public defender’s office, outlined the agreement and, after Assistant District Attorney Ava Bell said she expected Brow to owe restitution, he entered his pleas.
After Brow spoke the requisite two words — “Yes sir” — he described the crimes he’d just admitted to. Brow told the judge that when a police officer interviewed him at a friend’s house after the shooting, he had a bag of cocaine in his pocket.
“I just told him that I had it,” Brow told the judge.
He told the judge only that the cocaine bag weighed more than three grams, enough to constitute a felony. In court documents, prosecutors had alleged Brow had about 9 grams with him.
While wearing an orange jumpsuit assigned by the Natrona County Regional Juvenile Detention Center, he then told Forgey he’d been part of a group that got their hands on a Glock and a Smith and Wesson before going to another place in the county, where a person fired a gun at an unnamed person’s house. Brow said the group had done so in response to an outstanding threat.
“He said he was gonna shoot up our house,” Brow told the judge. “So after that we retaliated.”
Brow didn’t name the people he conspired with or say who shot at the house. He also didn’t name the person who he alleged had threatened him or his co-conspirators. Prosecutors have charged two other teens — Isaiah Dobbins and Isaiah White, both 17 — in Natrona County District Court in connection to the case. Nietert, the 25-year-old, faces four felonies, including an allegation that he acquired stolen handguns to provide to the teens.
Dobbins has pleaded not guilty to the three felonies he faces and Nietert has pleaded not guilty to the four crimes prosecutors have accused him of committing. White, who faces two felonies, has not yet been arraigned on the charges. He will first have an opportunity to ask Judge Catherine Wilking to transfer his case to juvenile court.
A fourth teenager faces charges in juvenile court. Because he has not been charged in the adult system, it is unlikely the outcome of his case will become public.
In charging documents shared by the four adult defendants, prosecutors have laid out factual allegations roughly consistent with Brow’s Wednesday morning statements. Those documents, penned by a police officer, state White argued with an amateur boxer online and, after the boxer beat him in a fistfight, White, Dobbins, Brow and the juvenile defendant got in a car driven by Nietert. They then shot out a window at the boxer’s home and hit cars parked out front, the documents state. The boxer was not home at the time, and nobody was injured in the shooting.