from the District Court of Albany County The Honorable
Jeffrey A. Donnell, Judge
Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender:
Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; and Tina N. Olson, Chief
Appellate Counsel. Argument by Ms. Olson.
Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney
General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General;
Christyne Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General; and
James Michael Causey, Senior Assistant Attorney General.
Argument by Mr. Causey.
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
After being found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree
murder, Ryan Alexander Brown claims the trial court committed
errors when it allowed the State to introduce evidence in the
form of a demonstrative video, a bank statement, and W.R.E.
404(b) evidence. We will affirm.
Mr. Brown presents three issues for our review:
1. [Brown] was denied due process when the trial court
allowed the state to play a video of an explosion of a
"pipe bomb" when that video was not timely provided
to defense counsel and was irrelevant.
2. [Brown] was denied due process when the trial court
allowed the state to use evidence, a bank statement, which
the state did not timely provide to defense counsel.
3. The trial court erred in admitting character evidence
under W.R.E. 404(b) and in refusing to give a limiting
instruction with regard to use of W.R.E. 404(b) evidence.
Ryan Brown and his wife Angela owned a home in Arlington,
Wyoming. They spent time together there on the weekends, but
because Angela was a dispatcher for the Laramie Police
Department, she and her daughter spent most of the week in
Laramie at another house. In the summer of 2013, due in part
to their time apart, Brown began to suspect that his wife was
having an affair with a man named John Squires from Cheyenne.
Mr. Brown confided his suspicion to Eric Farrar and William
Ferrill, new acquaintances to Mr. Brown.
The confidantes' conversations began to develop in 2013
as summer turned to fall to the point that Mr. Brown asked
Mr. Farrar to help him harm Mr. Squires. This continued into
2014. Mr. Brown initially offered to pay Mr. Farrar for his
help in killing Mr. Squires, but then he changed his mind and
simply offered Mr. Farrar money if he killed Mr. Squires on
his own. In the initial plans to kill Mr. Squires, the men
imagined using a firearm, faking a suicide, or drowning Mr.
Squires in a pond, but in May of 2014, Mr. Brown decided to
build a bomb that instead would kill Mr. Squires. Mr. Brown
purchased an alarm clock and began tinkering with it in order
to make a timer for a bomb. He also began work on a motion
sensor but abandoned the entire bomb plan because he feared
he would hurt himself in the process.
On May 23, 2014, the plan further evolved. Mr. Brown offered
Mr. Farrar $10, 000.00 to help both burn down Mr. Brown's
house in Arlington and kill Mr. Squires. Mr. Farrar agreed to
this plan. As per Mr. Brown's request, Mr. Farrar removed
Mr. Brown's firearms from his Arlington house and
proceeded to set the house on fire. In August of 2014, Mr.
Brown paid Mr. Farrar $5, 000.00 from the insurance proceeds
he collected from the fire. Mr. Farrar deposited half of that
amount and used the remainder to repair his truck.
That fall, Mr. Brown decided to continue with the pipe bomb
plan to kill Mr. Squires, and asked Mr. Farrar, and their
mutual friend Mr. Ferrill, for their assistance. Mr. Brown
intended to place the bomb in Mr. Squires' truck and to
connect a spark plug in the bomb to the wiring of the truck
so that when Mr. Squires started his truck, the spark plug in
the bomb would ignite the gunpowder. Mr. Brown and Mr.
Ferrill met one evening, and Mr. Ferrill brought gunpowder.
However, Mr. Ferrill refused to give the gunpowder to Mr.
Brown. Mr. Brown decided to simplify things and asked Mr.
Ferrill to kill Mr. Squires for him ...