Casper Man Arraigned on Aggravated Assault, Robbery Charges
A man who recently relocated from Tennessee to Wyoming denied four felony charges during his arraignment hearing Thursday morning.
Michael W. McLaughlin, 23, pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated robbery, possession of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent and two counts of aggravated assault. He could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
The charges stem from an alleged April incident in which McLaughlin threatened three teens with a handgun and fired one bullet past one teen's head.
McLaughlin allegedly pressed the muzzle of the gun against the chest of another teen. The victims were eventually able to leave the area and contact police.
McLaughlin's blood-alcohol content was .166 at the time of his arrest, according to the affidavit.
After his arrest, he told police that he had moved to Casper from Memphis, Tennessee in order to be with his child and ex-girlfriend.
During Thursday's hearing, District Judge Catherine Wilking noted problems with the charging documents filed by prosecutors.
"We do continue to have significant difficulties with the charging documents being correct," Wilking said, pointing to missing statutory language in counts two and three. She said the Natrona County District Attorney's Office needs to pay more attention in crafting such documents.
Public defender Rob Oldham asked Wilking to lower McLaughlin's bond to $5,000 cash or surety during Thursday's hearing. Oldham claimed some of the charges may not be appropriate given testimony provided by an investigating detective during the preliminary hearing.
Wilking declined Oldham's request. McLaughlin's bond remains set at $50,000 cash or surety. He remained in custody at the time of Thursday's hearing.