Cheyenne Teen Avoids Attempted First-Degree Murder Charge With Plea Deal

A Cheyenne teen will avoid prosecution on an attempted first-degree murder charge after a deal was struck having him plead guilty to aggravated assault on Monday.

Leo Wolfson

June 24, 20243 min read

Leandro Dominguez
Leandro Dominguez (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

CHEYENNE — A Cheyenne 18-year-old will avoid going to trial on an attempted first-degree murder charge after a local judge accepted a plea deal with prosecutors.

Leandro F. Dominguez entered his change of plea Monday. By the time he walked out of the courtroom at the Laramie County Courthouse, it seemed Dominguez could see as little as a few years behind bars, if not less, instead of the potential life sentence the original charge carries.

Dominguez was originally charged with attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of James Gulley, 32, in February. He shot Gulley in the foot after Gulley shot and killed Dominguez’s brother in what was determined to be an act of self-defense.

On Monday afternoon, Dominguez pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault as a result of a negotiated plea deal with the state, dropping the attempted first-degree murder charge and another for aggravated assault.

Let’s Make A Deal

The two remaining charges against Dominguez carry up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines each.

However, the agreement between Dominguez and the state stipulates that if Dominguez successfully completes a youthful offender treatment program, the state will not oppose a future request for sentence reduction that could include a suspended term of incarceration with continued probation.

In addition, the assault charges are to run concurrently, so Dominguez could not face more than 10 years in prison when sentenced.

It will be up to First Judicial District Court Judge Robin Cooley whether she wants to accept the details of the plea agreement at Dominguez’s sentencing, but she expressed no reservations about it at Monday’s hearing.

Dominguez will not be able to withdraw his guilty pleas if Cooley does not accept the agreement.

Dominguez will be sentenced Sept. 23.

Wearing orange prison garb, glasses and sporting curly black hair, Dominguez said little at Monday’s hearing, but appeared upbeat and thanked Cooley upon exiting the courtroom.

What Happened?

The incident between Dominguez and Gulley began when the defendant started following Gulley for driving “suspiciously” around his Cheyenne neighborhood, according to court documents.

A confrontation between the two ensued shortly after, resulting in Dominguez calling his brother in for help.

Two minutes later, the Dominguez brothers returned brandishing an 18-inch-long pipe wrench.

Gulley got out of his vehicle and three quick gunshots followed, which Gulley fired.

Dominguez left the scene, drove to his home around the corner, retrieved and loaded a semiautomatic pistol, and then returned.

By the time he came back, his brother was dead.

The affidavit says Dominguez then pointed his gun at Gulley and at a 31-year-old woman who had exited the vehicle.

Gulley retreated and while moving around, retrieved his gun from his right pants pocket, said the affidavit.

Dominguez then fired toward Gulley, hitting him in the right foot.

Gulley’s brother, who is about 18, was also nearly struck by Leandro’s bullets as he fled from the gunfire, a court document said.

Gulley survived the incident with a foot wound.

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter