Judge Orders Mental Exam For Teen Accused Of Stabbing, Killing Bobby Maher, 14

A judge Friday ordered a mental exam for a Casper teen who’s charged with first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing and killing 14-year-old Bobby Maher while he was trying to protect his girlfriend April 7.

Dale Killingbeck

June 21, 20245 min read

A memorial for Bobby Maher, the Casper 14-year-old who died after being stabbed outside Eastridge Mall on April 7, grows near the spot of the altercation. Maher's favorite color was blue.
A memorial for Bobby Maher, the Casper 14-year-old who died after being stabbed outside Eastridge Mall on April 7, grows near the spot of the altercation. Maher's favorite color was blue. (Dale Killingbeck, Cowboy State Daily)

CASPER — A local teen charged as an adult with first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing and killing another teen April 7 will have a mental exam, a Natrona County District Court judge ordered Friday.

Jarreth Plunkett is one of two teens, who were both 15 at the time of the crime, charged with killing 14-year-old Bobby Maher at the Eastridge Mall. Maher was reportedly there to protect his girlfriend from harassment by the accused boys.

Plunkett is alleged in court documents as saying he wanted to “gut that dude” before Maher was stabbed. He’s accused of wielding the knife and stabbing Mayer, and was in court Friday for a plea hearing.

Defense Attorney Curtis Cheney told Judge Catherine Wilking that Jarreth Plunkett would enter pleas of “not guilty” and “not guilty by reason of mental illness or deficiency” to each of his four charges.

Along with first-degree murder, Plunkett faces charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, aggravated assault and battery, and misdemeanor theft.

Plunkett entered the courtroom wearing a red jumpsuit and in handcuffs and shackles. His hair was neatly cropped. He read through a document handed to him by Cheney and then had a conversation with his attorney.

Responds To Judge

As the arraignment hearing began, Judge Wilking read through his rights and asked Plunkett if he understood them.

“Yes, ma’am,” he answered.

Are you taking medications?

“Yes, ma’am,” Plunkett replied, telling the judge he’s taking them as prescribed by a docter.

Plunkett told the judge he was in ninth grade and when asked if he ever had been diagnosed with a learning disability, replied, “I don’t believe so.”

Plunkett told the judge he understood the charges against him, and Cheney entered the double plea in his behalf.

Cheney said he would seek to get an evaluation of Plunkett scheduled at the Wyoming State Hospital.

Wilking told Cheney and Natrona County Attorney Dan Itzen that she would direct that the evaluation be done.

“If there are disputes about the manner it is to be conducted, you can bring that back to the court,” she said.

Bobby Maher
Bobby Maher (Via GoFundMe)

Scheduling Conference Planned

Under Wyoming Law, all criminal psychiatric evaluations must be performed at the Wyoming State Hospital.

Cheney said he didn’t know how long it would take to get Plunkett scheduled for an exam and asked that the court move ahead with a scheduling conference on the case.

Plunkett and alleged accomplice Dominique Harris are being tried separately.

A video of the stabbing incident shown at an April preliminary hearing in Casper Circuit Court showed a masked Plunkett and Harris outside a mall entrance. The video showed Plunkett and Maher backing away as they circled each other. Harris is in the background behind.

Plunkett pushed Maher, then hit him in the face with his right hand, the video shows. Harris swooped in, picked up Maher and body slammed him to the concrete. As Harris held Maher down, Plunkett made two quick jabs into Maher’s body with a knife, then both defendants back away.

Maher got to his feet, walked to the mall entrance and then collapsed.

Preliminary Exam Testimony

Testimony by Casper Police Detective Elhart during the preliminary hearing alleged the knife used by Plunkett was stolen shortly before the incident from the Target store in the mall.

Other testimony brought out a previous meeting between Plunkett, Harris and Maher at an Evansville park where Maher allegedly asked the pair if they were “freaks” because they exited a portable toilet together.

The preliminary hearing also introduced video of a meeting between Plunkett, Harris and Maher’s girlfriend and best friend where Plunkett and Harris approached the pair and asked where Maher lived. Then Plunkett had a question for Maher’s friend.

“You want to get his blood debt?” Plunkett asked.

The preliminary examination also brought out an alleged conversation between Plunkett and Harris where Plunkett told Harris he wanted to “gut that dude.”

Two rows the courtroom were filled with members of Maher’s family Friday, and on the opposite side of the court were similar numbers of Plunkett’s family and supporters. Plunkett never glanced over at them during the proceeding.

Plunkett’s double plea allows him to retain a “not guilty” plea should the hospital determine he is mentally fit for trial.

Both the first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, and the assault charge 10 years in prison and potential for a $10,000 fine or both.

The theft charge carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $750 or both.

The murder of Maher has spurred the community of Casper to try and find ways to stop a culture of violence among youth that seems to have a foothold in the community.

Following his death, city, county, school and social agencies have denounced the incident and work is underway to try and better identify troubled youths and work toward improving the youth culture.

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Dale Killingbeck


Killingbeck is glad to be back in journalism after working for 18 years in corporate communications with a health system in northern Michigan. He spent the previous 16 years working for newspapers in western Michigan in various roles.