Woman Who Stabbed Nephew To Death Escapes From Casper Halfway House

Rachelle Lynch, 25, was sentenced to five to 13 years in prison for stabbing her 20-year-old nephew during a drunken knife fight in 2019. When she failed to return as scheduled to a Casper halfway house Monday, authorities reported Lynch as an escapee.

Clair McFarland

April 18, 20233 min read

Rachelle lynch
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A woman who killed her nephew in 2019 has escaped from the Casper Reentry Center, authorities say.  

Rachelle Lynch, 25, is described as a Native American female who stands about 5-foot, 8-inches tall, weighs 205 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes, according to a Tuesday statement by the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office.

She also has tattoos of hearts and feathers on her right forearm and a tattoo of a heart on her left hand.  

Lynch was a CRC resident when she signed out Monday at about 4:45 p.m. and failed to return by 10 p.m. as scheduled, the statement says.  

CRC staff reported Lynch as an escapee to the sheriff’s office early Tuesday.

She now is wanted on suspicion of felony escape.  

The Drunken Knife Fight 

Lynch originally was sentenced to five to 13 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter after she stabbed her 20-year-old nephew, Joshua Friday, during a drunken knife fight in Riverton in 2019. 

The pair had been drinking together with another friend the night of Oct. 8, 2019, at first on the Wind River Indian Reservation, then in a trailer park on the south end of Riverton.  

Friday became enraged when Lynch told him they better stop drinking, according to Lynch’s testimony at her 2020 sentencing hearing.  

Lynch told state District Court Judge Marv Tyler that Friday “got very angry,” got a knife, came to the passenger door of the vehicle in which they’d been drinking and started beating her.  

She said she went into a trailer house, got a knife, came back outside and swung it at Friday.  

“He took off running from me, and that’s the last time I saw him,” she said.

Lynch said she went back into the trailer house, put the knife in the sink, showered and went to sleep on the couch, according to court testimony.

Rachelle Lynch 2 4 18 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

‘A Person That Meant A Lot To Me’ 

Police found Friday the next morning near one of the trailer houses, dead from bleeding out from his gut.  

Because she chose to retrieve the knife and re-approach Friday after he attacked her, Lynch’s actions were not justifiable as self-defense, Lynch’s attorney Jon Gerard told the judge at her sentencing hearing.  

But, Gerard said, Lynch was under extreme pressure from her own intoxication, anger and painful memories Friday triggered with the attack.   

Friday’s family also testified at Lynch’s sentencing hearing, and said the reported assault was highly uncharacteristic behavior of him. They also lamented that Friday’s daughter no longer has her father.  

The day after Friday’s death, Lynch told police she “didn’t want to kill him, (but) only wanted to hurt him,” court documents state.  

At her sentencing hearing, Lynch was entirely remorseful.  

“I know I’m guilty, and I’ve been guilty since that day,” she said. “I’m guilty of the many hearts that are broken, the stress, hurt and anger I’ve caused. I’m guilty because I took someone’s life from them – not just someone, but a person that meant a lot to me – Joshua.”

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter