By Mark Heinz, Outdoors Reporter
Two men – one from Colorado and another from Wyoming – have been charged with aggravated assault and battery in connection with the beating of two Wyoming hunters in Lincoln County on Oct. 15.
Jared Michael Olguin, 35, of Elizabeth, Colorado, and Shea Patrice Sanchez, 30, of Green River also have been charged with theft, according to documents filed in Lincoln County Circuit Court.
The charges stem from allegations that they assaulted a pair of Wyoming hunters, Dawson Handley and Joseph Boster, and stole Boster’s backpack, which contained several expensive hunting-related items.
Handley suffered multiple jaw fractures during the assault, according to court documents.
Dispute Over Elk
The altercation stemmed from a dispute over elk that the suspects claimed to have shot and also claimed that Handley, Boster and other members of their hunting party took. That’s according to an affidavit written by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jody M. Gardner.
On the morning of Oct. 15, Handley, Boster and others were hunting elk near Shale Creek in the Upper Greys River area, where they encountered another group of hunters that included the suspects, according to the affidavit.
The other group of hunters said they had shot a bull and cow elk. Handley told investigators that the other group of hunters were discussing how they had shot the elk from the road and also were contemplating cutting the bull’s antlers off with a chainsaw once they located the carcass, Gardner writes in his affidavit.
One of the younger men in the group had a cut on his face consistent with being “scoped,” Handley told investigators. That’s a common term for an injury that happens when a rifle’s recoil drives the edge of the weapon’s scope into the shooter’s face.
Handley told investigators that he later found the carcass of a cow elk that had been partially processed, but still had much of the meat left on it. So, he took the tenderloins off the carcass.
Handley and Boster said their hunting party also later found the untouched carcass of a bull elk. After contemplating what to do, one of the hunters in their party put his hunting tag on the bull’s carcass, the affidavit says. They processed the carcass and took the meat back to their camp.
Handley and Boster said they split off from the other members of their party and took Boster’s UTV to go hunting – Boster was driving and Handley was in the passenger’s seat, the affidavit says. When they were returning late that afternoon, Boster and Handley were “flagged down” by some of the members of the other party they had met that morning.
The pair told investigators that the man with the “scoping” injury was there, and the men were demanding that Handely and Boster tell them where their elk were.
Alleged Altercation and Theft
Gardner’s affidavit states that Handley and Boster claimed that two of the other men approached their UTV and started rifling through items in the back. When Boster got out of the driver’s seat and told them to stop, a fight broke out.
Handley told investigators that at some point during the altercation, he took a knee to his face, which probably caused the worst of his injuries, the affidavit says. The altercation ended when an older man, who had stayed inside the defendants’ truck, shouted at the defendants to stop.
Sanchez later told investigators that the older man was his uncle.
Handley and Boster said that as the two men who had assaulted them returned to their truck, they took Boster’s backpack with them, allegedly in an attempt get even over the perception that their elk had been stolen from them, according to Gardner’s affidavit.
Sanchez told investigators that the driver of the UTV had thrown the first punch but quit fighting after he as “double-legged” and knocked to the ground, according to the affidavit. Sanchez said he saw Olguin and the man on the ground “hockey punching” each other.
Investigators noted that Sanchez told them he had “scoped” himself while shooting at elk, according to the affidavit. Olguin’s right hand was “significantly puffy and swollen with two abrasions on his right index finger.”
The backpack and the items in it that Boster claimed the suspects stole from him were recovered from Sanchez, according to the affidavit.