Intimidation Case Dropped Against Evanston Man Who Displayed Yard Signs

A Uinta County judge Monday dismissed the felony case against an Evanston man who was accused of using yard signs on his own property to intimidate his neighbor. Had he been convicted, he faced up to 10 years in prison.

Clair McFarland

April 09, 20244 min read

Evanston resident Quinn Groneman has been charged with a felony for putting these signs up on his property.
Evanston resident Quinn Groneman has been charged with a felony for putting these signs up on his property. (Courtesy Photos)

A Uinta County judge Monday dismissed the felony case against an Evanston man who was accused of using angry signs on his own property to intimidate his neighbor, who was also a witness against him in a town nuisance case.

Uinta County Attorney Loretta Howieson Kallas asked the judge for permission to dismiss the case March 29, saying the alleged victim, a neighbor woman, was asking for the dismissal.

District Court Judge James Kaste granted the dismissal Monday, one day before the defendant, 44-year-old Quinn Groneman, was scheduled to give a plea in the case.

The dismissal is without prejudice, meaning Howieson Kallas could bring the case again if circumstances warrant it.

Had he been convicted, Groneman could have faced up to 10 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

‘Beyond Just Me’

Groneman’s wife Melanie Harker sent a statement to Cowboy State Daily via text message Tuesday calling the dismissal a triumph for individual liberties, and which included a quote from Groneman.

“The experience has been harrowing, and the dismissal brings a much-needed respite to what has been an incredibly stressful time,” said Groneman in the statement. “However, the overarching concern remains. My unwarranted experience underlines a broader issue of civil liberties being encroached upon.

“This matter goes beyond just me, highlighting the potential for systemic issues that could impact anyone. It's imperative that we consistently uphold the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all individuals, to ensure that justice is truly served."

The statement calls the felony intimidation charge a misunderstanding of Groneman’s actions and intentions.


Groneman and Harker had a tense relationship with their neighbor throughout 2023, owing to a buildup of materials on Groneman’s property. The neighbor reportedly turned the Groneman couple in for the state of their property.

City court charging documents call the materials a nuisance. Harker told Cowboy State Daily they’re part of an ongoing rebuild of a burned-down home that also is on the property next to their home.

The pair were cited for town nuisance violations in two separate cases, which have both now been dismissed.

Harker said the couple had to perform some cleanup before getting the second case dismissed.

But during the months in which the town court cases progressed, Groneman started putting up angry signs — some facing toward his neighbor’s house and at least one angled toward her window. One sign referenced a nosy neighbor and featured a black arrow pointing toward the neighbor’s house.

“You can f*** way off,” said one sign. “Mind your business,” said another. Another read, “Those who matter don’t mind, those who mind don’t matter.”

More signage appeared over the course of three weeks from Dec. 18 to about Jan. 10.

Bewildered, Groneman’s neighbor called police Jan. 19, reporting she was threatened by the signs and was being targeted.

She knew that Groneman’s nuisance case was scheduled for a February hearing, and she feared he’d retaliate after that, court documents say.

Howieson Kallas charged Groneman with felony witness intimidation.

The case progressed to the district court level, which means a circuit court judge found probable cause to allow the prosecution to continue.

The Discussion

Cowboy State Daily coverage of Groneman’s case prompted a free-speech-related outcry by many Wyomingites, which in turn prompted a follow-up story on the case featuring accomplished Wyoming attorneys.

Mike Krampner, a now-retired First Amendment attorney who practiced for decades in Wyoming, rebuked the charge filing as heavy-handed, and told Cowboy State Daily that Groneman’s signs didn’t contain any threats.

The witness intimidation statute is applicable when someone, by force or threat, intimidates a witness.

“There is no force and no threat in Groneman’s signs as far as I can see,” said Krampner. “He has merely stated his opinion about (his neighbor) and her behavior.”

Ryan Semerad, a defense attorney and owner of Casper law firm Fuller and Semerad, countered somewhat, saying the buildup of angry signs over the course of three weeks could have indicated a threatening intent, even if the signs’ words weren’t directly threatening.

“I’m not saying the homeowner who put the signs up is guilty,” Semerad told Cowboy State Daily last month. “But I can now understand why he’s being charged — because they’re looking at the situation of this pattern of conduct that’s kind of escalating and the epicenter of it is this hearing that has to do with a nuisance complaint made by the neighbor.”

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter