One woman is still headed to trial; another has signed a plea agreement in the alleged murder of a third woman who died of stabbing and beating injuries last August under a burning tire in a Riverton trailer house.
Kasia Monroe, 32, is scheduled to go to trial July 10, according to her court file. Charged with accessory before the fact to second-degree murder, Monroe faces between 20 years and life in prison if convicted, because of a provision in Wyoming law that lets the state prosecute accessories as if they are the main perpetrators in alleged murders.
Monroe’s co-defendant Chasity Washington, however, signed a plea agreement to the same charge last month to give a variant of guilty plea that doesn’t require an admission of guilt.
In exchange, Fremont County Attorney deputy Tim Hancock has agreed to argue for a sentence between 25 and 43 years in prison.
Washington, 36, agreed to cooperate in the case against Monroe, according to her plea agreement.
Hancock also charged Washington with first-degree arson. He agreed in the April 17 plea agreement to seek a 10-year probation sentence on that charge, with the threat of an 8-10 year sentence if Washington violates her probation.
The prosecutor has agreed to drop a third charge, felony theft, against Washington. Last week he also dropped a separate drug case against her.
Washington’s sentencing will be delayed until after Monroe’s trial, the plea agreement indicates.
Burning Tire, Stabbed In Chest
Riverton police found Ashley Dewey, 31, of the Wind River Indian Reservation dead in a trailer fire Aug. 24. She was face-down in a bathtub in the trailer house on the northeast end of town with a burning tire on top of her, according to an evidentiary affidavit filed in October.
Police could tell that someone had beaten and stabbed Dewey, the affidavit says.
The Fremont County coroner ruled that Dewey died of blunt-force trauma of the head and stab wounds to the chest.
Police found Monroe outside the trailer sitting on its hitch when officers arrived, the affidavit states.
She said she’d been in the trailer.
After her arrest, Monroe told police she watched Chasity Washington punch Dewey multiple times while the women were in the trailer’s north bedroom, the affidavit says. Washington escorted Dewey to the bathroom to help clean her up, Monroe said.
When Monroe went to the bathroom, she watched Washington stab Dewey with a large kitchen knife and kick Dewey in the face as the latter lay in the bathtub, the affidavit alleges.
Police interviewed Washington soon after her arrest.
She reportedly admitted to entering a home and taking a bag containing firearms from it.
“She (said) she went back to her old ways of stealing stuff,” the affidavit reads. “She said that she did this to try to sale (sic) the firearms for money.”
Washington admitted to lighting two tires on fire — one on top of Dewey and one in the kitchen area — while other people were still in the trailer, according to the affidavit.
Clair McFarland can be reached at: Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com