CASSANDRA L. McEUEN, Appellant (Defendant),
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).
from the District Court of Uinta County The Honorable Joseph
B. Bluemel, Judge
of the State Public Defender: Diane Lozano, State Public
Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief Appellate Counsel; and Eric M.
Alden, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Mr.
K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath,
Deputy Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Senior
Assistant Attorney General; and John A. Brodie, Assistant
Attorney General. Argument by Mr. Brodie.
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
After a two-day trial, a jury convicted Cassandra McEuen of
one count of felony interference with a peace officer and of
operating an ATV without liability insurance or valid
registration. On appeal, Ms. McEuen only challenges her
felony interference conviction. She claims the district court
erred in denying her motion for judgment of acquittal because
the evidence at trial demonstrated the arresting officer was
not engaged in the lawful performance of his official duties.
She also argues that the court erred in failing to give the
jury her proffered self-defense instructions, and that the
court should have provided the jury with definitions of
phrases contained in the felony interference charge. We will
Ms. McEuen states the issues on appeal as follows:
I. The evidence demonstrates that the officer was not in the
lawful performance of his official duties.
II. The evidence was insufficient to prove intent to cause
III. The court erred in denying Ms. McEuen's requested
self-defense instruction and failing to instruct on the
requirements of lawful performance of duties and on the
definition of attempt.
On August 21, 2015, on-duty Officer Josh Buhmann noticed an
ATV driving on an Evanston street without a license plate.
Officer Buhmann activated his overhead lights and activated
his air horn, but the driver of the ATV, Cassandra McEuen,
did not stop and drove the ATV into an alleyway and
eventually an apartment complex parking lot. Ms. McEuen began
walking toward the apartment complex, but turned around after
Officer Buhmann activated his air horn one more time.
After initiating contact, Officer Buhmann requested Ms.
McEuen's driver's license and informed her it was
illegal to drive her ATV on a public street with no
registration. Ms. McEuen explained she tried to register the
ATV but the courthouse was closed. Officer Buhmann requested
Ms. McEuen's driver's license a second time, which
she thought she had "put in her jeans, " but was
not on her person. The officer asked for Ms. McEuen's
name a fourth time, and she responded, "Goddamit"
and began to walk away from the officer. Officer Buhmann
followed and asked her where she was going, but Ms. McEuen
did not respond and kept walking.
[¶5] Officer Buhmann caught up to Ms. McEuen, and as he
did so, he grabbed her left forearm and asked what she was
doing. She turned to him and said, "What are you
doing?" and kicked him in the right leg. Officer Buhmann
It appeared to me at the time that she was trying to get away
from the stop and get into the building and I wanted to stop
her to make sure that, you know, she didn't have a
warrant or something to - I mean, she wouldn't give me
her name or any of that information, so I wasn't sure
what exactly she was doing.
Ms. McEuen told Officer Buhmann that she was going to get her
license. She demanded he let go of her, and he responded that
she could not just walk away. In response, she began kicking
him again. At this point, Officer Buhmann grabbed Ms. McEuen
by both arms and turned her face-first against the building.
This did not deter Ms. McEuen from kicking the officer, as
she continued to do so backward, using her heel.
After some time, Ms. McEuen calmed down and Officer Buhmann
began escorting her toward his patrol car. Ms. McEuen started
to struggle once again, and attempted to free herself from
his grasp. Officer Buhmann then pinned Ms. McEuen to the
ground, placed his right knee on her legs, and brought her
hands behind her back. Ms. McEuen told Officer Buhmann she