Two Casper men broke into a family’s home, where one of them fought with the dad of the family until the pregnant mom trained a pistol on them and scared them away, according to Natrona County District Court documents.
Daniel Charles Hemmer, 35, and Joel Wilson, 40, could face decades in prison if convicted on the drug and burglary charges they now face.
An evidentiary affidavit sent to the felony-level court Dec. 1 says a woman in the North Casper area called police at 10:50 the morning of Nov. 18 to report that two men had just broken into her home.
When Detective Andrew Lincowski arrived at the home, he spoke with the male victim at the scene, the dad of the family. He said he’d been sleeping in his boxers that morning when his daughter woke him and said someone was knocking on the door.
Still waking, the dad heard two loud bangs. That’s when he “knew it was serious” and got up, the affidavit says.
He encountered two men standing inside his home — one in the small hallway between the living room and bedroom, looking at some gear.
The dad tried getting his gun out of its case, but didn’t have time.
“What’s up, motherf***er?” said a man identified as Suspect 1, in the affidavit. Suspect 1 then attacked the dad and as they fought, they ran into the dog crate, closet door and television, the document relates. Hemmer later claimed that Wilson was the one fighting.
The suspect hit the dad in the face, but he was able to push the suspect out of the room and into the living room, where they fell onto the couch, says the affidavit.
The suspect was grabbing the dad’s leg trying to get him to the ground.
Watch Out For Mama
Meanwhile, the mom snuck past the two men, went into the bedroom and grabbed the family pistol. She returned and pointed it at the suspects. In her later interview, an investigator noted that she was visibly pregnant.
Faced with the expectant mother with a gun, both suspects fled.
The pair’s minor daughter witnessed the break-in and her mother’s self-defense gesture from the back bedroom, says the affidavit.
When investigators arrived, the dad said he hadn’t washed his hands or body. He’d been wearing shorts during the fight and the suspects hadn’t been wearing gloves, he said.
So an evidence technician obtained swabs from the dad’s left hand, fingernails and from a scratch on his back.
The man also had a small, bleeding gouge to the left side of his face, says the affidavit.
The dad described the suspect he fought with as a white male, standing about 5-foot-11, weighing about 160 pounds, wearing a grey-colored top with a grey had that said “Huk.” He appeared to be in his 30s, he added.
The second suspect, who allegedly stood in the living room during the fight until he found himself on the wrong end of a pistol, was wearing a red jacket or top.
The dad told investigators they had Blink cameras around their home because of a prowler incident from the week before. These reportedly included a doorbell camera, front window camera, two back window cameras and a sign indicating the home was under surveillance.
Surveying the apartment, Detective Lincowski figured the damage from the fight amounted to more than $1,000 with labor costs of some repairs included.
‘You Weren’t Fast Enough’
Lincowski interviewed the mom at the scene.
She said she saw two female Jehovah’s Witness missionaries knocking at the door that morning; she ignored the knock and the missionaries walked away, which the woman observed on camera.
She sat on the couch in the living room and heard another knock at the front door. The camera displayed two men standing on the front porch, both strangers. They kept knocking, so the woman sent their daughter to wake up the dad.
Meanwhile, the men kept knocking and started scratching the door. The mother became afraid as the men knocked twice more and “busted in,” says the affidavit.
She jumped off the couch. The first man into the apartment was wearing a maroon top, she said. The second one in wore a grey top.
One yelled something like, “What’s up? What’s up?”
They went immediately toward the bedroom. The woman heard someone trying to open the gun case.
“You weren’t fast enough,” said a suspect, allegedly.
The woman was in shock and tried to figure out what to do.
Mom’s Memory Of It
The man in the grey top started walking toward their daughter, who was in the room with her dad and with both suspects, the affidavit says.
The mom reportedly tried to get into the bedroom to get to her daughter, yelling “Get back!” to the man in the grey top.
The man then approached the mom, cornering her against the rocking chair in the room, the affidavit alleges. He reportedly charged her like he was about to hurt her and she backed up, yelling that she was pregnant.
He never did hurt her.
The document says that during the dad’s fight with the suspect, the mom was able to get the pistol out of the case. She tried to rack a round in the chamber but wasn’t sure if she’d been successful. She pointed it at the suspects.
When one intruder saw her with the gun, he fled.
It took a moment for the man in the maroon top to notice she had a gun, but when he did, he ran out of the home too, says the affidavit.
And They Search
Lincowski noticed the front door had been forced open, the door frame was damaged and the latch casing lay on the ground, the document says.
An electronic device – possibly a wireless internet router – lay in front of the TV dangling over the top from its wires. Lincowski noted it as evidence of a struggle.
The woman gave police video and images from her security cameras.
Casper Police Department and Natrona County Sheriff’s officers identified the man in the red/maroon top as Wilson and the man in the darker top as Hemmer.
Looking at “recent mug shots” of both men, Lincowski agreed.
The footage allegedly showed both men walking by the home at 10:43 a.m. that day, with Wilson in the lead by “several yards” before they both met at the door and one or both started knocking.
Wilson forced the door open and they both entered the apartment amid the sound of yelling, the affidavit relates from the footage.
The encounter in the home lasted three minutes.
The document says that at 10:50 that morning, Hemmer ran out of the house with Wilson also fleeing a few seconds later.
The affidavit’s account of the footage says that Hemmer wore a dark hooded jacket, a Huk hat, blue jeans and grey shoes with white soles, while Wilson wore a red/maroon hooded sweatshirt with blue jeans and white shoes.
Whoops, Regular Family
Several law enforcement agencies helped find and arrest Hemmer at about 3:15 that afternoon. He had an iPad with him. Authorities took him to the Casper Police Department for an interview, says the affidavit.
Detective Tiffany Elhart spoke with Hemmer, who agreed to talk to her.
Hemmer said that Wilson came to his apartment that morning and met outside the apartment complex because Hemmer’s wife was angry at Wilson for having kicked in their apartment door a few weeks prior.
Hemmer “snuck” Wilson into the apartment after a while, and Wilson showed Hemmer his gun – an older, black semi-automatic pistol, says the document.
He said that Wilson wanted Hemmer to take him to a “dope house” so they could rob it. They were thinking of a house in North Casper. Wilson reportedly wanted to rob the house and look for drugs and a safe he’d heard about.
Hemmer got into his recently deceased mother-in-law’s blue Subaru and drove Wilson to North Casper. They walked around the front and back of the house and Hemmer spotted security cameras and said it was a bad idea, the affidavit says.
Wilson reportedly said the residents wouldn’t report anything to law enforcement because they were drug dealers.
“I’m going in,” said Wilson, shouldering the door twice before it opened, the affidavit relates.
Once inside, they found a woman standing in the living room.
Hemmer claimed he remained near the front door and watched Wilson get into a “tangle” with the male resident.
But these people didn’t look like drug dealers – they looked like a regular family, Hemmer later told Detective Elhart.
The man and Wilson tumbled onto the couch. The pregnant woman went behind them and it looked like she “cocked something,” so Hemmer ran, hopping into his car and putting it in drive. Just then, Wilson ran up, hit the car’s hood with his fist and got into the passenger seat. They reportedly drove away and went back to Hemmer’s apartment.
Hemmer said he felt coerced because Wilson had kicked in his apartment door a few days prior and because Wilson had a gun, but Hemmer made no mention of Wilson threatening him or anyone else with the gun that day, says the affidavit.
Break The Glass
After obtaining search permission from Hemmer’s wife, Detective Andrea Husted reportedly found Hemmer’s Huk hat and a glass pipe with suspected methamphetamine residue in it.
Lincowski obtained a search warrant for Hemmer’s iPad. He scrolled through Hemmer’s Facebook messages with Wilson.
At 8:55 a.m., Hemmer allegedly texted, “Wanna go serve someone.”
Five minutes later, he said, “wake up put semi nice clothes on,” the affidavit relates. Another 20 minutes later: “TeLl me ur ready,” followed by, “Ok I’ll ride solo if you don’t wanna.”
Wilson finally texted back at 10:03, the affidavit shows: “I’m moving towards you now.”
“Cool… How close are you,” Hemmer allegedly answered.
Hemmer’s wife also had a Ring doorbell camera, which reportedly showed the two men leaving the apartment at 10:13 that morning, and Hemmer leaving once again at 10:22.
The Ring didn’t capture Hemmer’s return. The wife speculated Hemmer had manipulated the footage or the camera had malfunctioned, the affidavit says.
Meanwhile in his police interview, Hemmer grew angry with the thought of going to jail and threw a chair at the two-way glass pane, causing it to shatter partially, the document alleges. Elhart estimated the damage at $2,500.
Any property damage over $1,000 is chargeable as a felony in Wyoming.
Oh, Hey There
Wilson wasn’t arrested until the next day, Nov. 19, when Officer Casson Burgen was at the Walmart on East Second Street on an unrelated call.
Wilson stuck his head out of an RV parked in the lot, so Burgen called more officers to the scene and they called out to Wilson to come out. He complied after five minutes, says the affidavit.
Elhart interviewed Wilson, who initially denied knowing Hemmer.
Elhart told Wilson he was on camera with Hemmer at an address in North Casper.
Wilson said they did meet at the house because Hemmer wanted to collect a “debt,” the affidavit says.
Wilson denied shouldering into the home.
He soon told Elhart he didn’t want to talk about the incident anymore, the affidavit says.
A woman who’d been in the RV with Wilson just before his arrest told police that Wilson told her he’d made a mistake the night before – he broke into a house to get a generator back from someone but broke into the wrong house, and then he had to fight a dog and either hurt or kill it, the affidavit says.
Police collected a red/maroon hooded sweatshirt and Wilson from the woman’s RV, the affidavit says.
The woman allegedly said there would be a lot of drug paraphernalia in her RV because both she and Wilson used meth and fentanyl: they both smoked the fentanyl off tinfoil. She smoked meth, and he injected it, the affidavit relates.
Burgen collected “dozens of burnt tin foil” patches from the RV, along with used syringes, says the document. Police sent these to the lab for testing.
Both men were transferred from the Casper Circuit Court into the felony-level Natrona County District Court on Dec. 1.
Hemmer’s arraignment is set for Jan. 25.
He faces up to 45 years in prison in this case, which alleges:
Accessory before the fact to robbery (punishable by up to 10 years and $10,000).
Accessory before the fact to burglary (up to 10 years and $10,000).
Two counts of felony property destruction (up to 10 and $10,000 each).
Child endangerment for allegedly having methamphetamine near a child (up to five years and $5,000).
Hemmer is also facing another case, alleging felony meth possession with enhanced penalties for being a subsequent offender – punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 in fines – and felony fentanyl possession, carrying the same potential penalty.
Wilson is facing up to 66 years in prison in this case. The charges are:
Aggravated burglary, punishable by no fewer than five years in prison, no more than 25 years and up to $50,000 in fines.
Felony robbery (up to 10 years and $10,000).
Misdemeanor breach of peace (up to six months and $750).
Misdemeanor property destruction (up to six months and $750).
Felony meth possession (up to five and $5,000).
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.