By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A man convicted of shooting at officers during a high-speed chase has lost his appeal of his conviction for damaging a planter during the chase.
Wyoming’s Supreme Court on Monday rejected the appeal of Dominique Childers, who is serving a prison sentence in connection with the May 2019 chase.
Childers, who was also convicted on two counts of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at law enforcement officers, argued he did not intentionally run into a planter owned by the city of Cheyenne during the chase, so he should not have been convicted of felony property destruction.
Supreme Court justices unanimously disagreed.
According to the ruling written by Justice Michael Davis, Childers was driving one of two cars seen speeding on Interstate 25 north of Cheyenne.
A Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper pulled over one of the vehicles, but the second, driven by Childers, kept going and exited the interstate in Cheyenne at a speed of 115 mph.
Childers then drove through the Wyoming Department of Transportation headquarters parking lot before leading officers at a high rate of speed toward downtown Cheyenne.
Childers shot at pursuing officers, which later included members of the Cheyenne Police Department, and traveled the wrong way on a one-way street, striking a vehicle and then the planter.
The chase ended after an officer fired shots into Childers’ vehicle and it drove through a fence and crashed into an embankment.
At trial, Childers’ attorneys did not offer a defense and Childers was found guilty of two counts of attempted second-degree murder, felony property destruction, felony possession of meth, reckless endangering, misdemeanor property destruction and eluding police officers.
Childers argued there was insufficient evident to prove he intentionally damaged the car and planter his vehicle hit, so he could not be convicted on a charge of property destruction.
But justices ruled that Childers was already violating the law by running from police officers, so when he ran into the planter and the other car, he was already acting intentionally.
“It is undisputed that Mr. Childers voluntarily attempted to elude police and was engaged in a high-speed chase when he caused the property damage,” the opinion said. “His voluntary and intentional conduct eluding police in a high-speed chase and driving while under the influence of methamphetamine is the conduct that produced the proscribed result and damage.”