from the District Court of Laramie County The Honorable
Thomas T.C. Campbell, Judge
Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender:
Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson, Chief
Appellate Counsel; Eric M. Alden, Senior Assistant Public
Defender. Argument by Mr. Alden.
Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney
General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General;
Christyne M. Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General.
Argument by Mr. Delicath.
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
Appellant Chad Dockter challenges two of several convictions
arising out of a violent incident with his former girlfriend.
He claims the evidence presented by the State was
insufficient to support his convictions of kidnapping and
misdemeanor theft of a cell phone. We affirm.
1. Was the evidence sufficient to establish that Appellant
unlawfully confined the victim as required by the kidnapping
statute, Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-201(a) (LexisNexis 2015)?
the evidence sufficiently establish misdemeanor theft of an
Apple iPhone 5?
Viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the State
and resolving any evidentiary conflicts in its favor, see
Barrowes v. State, 2017 WY 23, ¶ 3, 390 P.3d 1126,
1126 (Wyo. 2017), the pertinent facts established at trial
are as follows. Appellant and the victim Amanda Yearsley
dated for six months before Ms. Yearsley ended the
relationship in May 2015. Ms. Yearsly then met with Appellant
to inform him that she was pregnant in July of 2015. After
that, the two communicated sporadically through early August
On August 14, 2015, Ms. Yearsley was at a bar where she
worked, although she was not on duty, when Appellant showed
up. He stopped by to repay some money he owed her, and wanted
to talk, but eventually he started to cause a scene. Because
of his belligerent behavior, Ms. Yearsley suggested that they
take the conversation back to her place. While they were at
Ms. Yearsley's apartment, she used a smartphone, an
iPhone 6, that Appellant had given her daughter. This
apparently annoyed Appellant, so he snatched it from her and
left. After Appellant departed with her cell phone, Ms.
Yearsley called the police to report it, but she declined to
The next day, August 15, Ms. Yearsley activated her old
iPhone 5. Later that day, while she was in the shower getting
ready for work, the shower curtain swung open, and there was
Appellant. He grabbed her by the throat, and took her out of
the shower and into the bedroom. As she started to scream, he
placed his other hand over her nose and mouth. Once in the
bedroom, Appellant put Ms. Yearsley on the bed and told her
she needed to listen to him and that she had no choice but to
do so. She continued to squirm and scream, and Appellant
body-slammed her onto the ground with one hand still on her
throat and the other over her nose and mouth. Ms. Yearsley
struggled to breathe and almost blacked out, which caused her
to become still. Appellant then removed his hands and let her
Once free from Appellant's grasp, Ms. Yearsley ran to the
bathroom and turned off the shower. She picked up a piece of
the shower rod that had fallen on the floor and tried to
defend herself with it. It was no use, however, as Appellant
followed her to the bathroom and was able to pick her up in a
"bear hug." However, she managed to grab her
reactivated iPhone 5 from the bathroom counter before
Appellant carried her out to the living room.
Once in the living room, Appellant sat down on the couch with
Ms. Yearsley on his lap, still clenched in a bear hug.
Appellant told her how much he loved her and that she just
needed to listen to him. Unbeknownst to him, Ms. Yearsley had
succeeded in dialing 911 and hitting send. When a dispatcher
answered the 911 call, Appellant discovered what she had
done. He grabbed the phone, punched Ms. Yearsley in the
thigh, exited through the front door, and took off in his
car. Ms. Yearsley ran outside after him, but because she was
still naked, she returned to the house and called 911 from
her house land line. Law enforcement officers arrived soon
Appellant was charged, inter alia, with kidnapping
with voluntary release in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. §
6-2-201,  and the Information specifically alleged
that he unlawfully confined Yearsley with the intent to
inflict bodily injury on or to terrorize her. He was also
charged with misdemeanor theft in violation of Wyo. Stat.
Ann. § 6-3-402.A jury found Appellant guilty on those
counts, among others. The district court sentenced him to
eight to twelve years for kidnapping and six months for
Appellant challenges the sufficiency of evidence to support
two of his convictions. "When reviewing a sufficiency of
the evidence claim, we must accept as true the State's
evidence and give it the benefit of all reasonable inferences
which can be drawn from it." Barrowes, ¶
15, 390 P.3d at 1128. We do not consider contradictory
evidence presented by Appellant. Id. We will neither
reweigh the evidence nor substitute our judgment for that of
the jury, as our task is solely to determine whether a jury
could have reasonably concluded that each of the elements of
the crime was proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Id.
Appellant contends that his conduct did not amount to
kidnapping. Specifically, he claims that the evidence was
insufficient to establish confinement as required by
Wyoming's kidnapping statute. After studying the statute
and consulting controlling case law, we must disagree.
To find the answer to this question, we must examine
Wyoming's kidnapping statute and apply our usual
principles of statutory interpretation. Criminal statutes
must be strictly construed and are not to be enlarged by
implication or extended by inference or construction.
Bohling v. State, 2017 WY 7, ¶ 18, 388 P.3d
502, 505-06 (Wyo. 2017). Our chief consideration is ...