from the District Court of Sweetwater County The Honorable
Richard L. Lavery, Judge
Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender:
Diane M. Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson
[*] , Chief
Appellate Counsel; Kirk Morgan, Senior Assistant Appellate
Counsel; Eric M. Alden, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel.
Argument by Mr. Alden.
Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Attorney General;
David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Christyne M.
Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Adam Leuschel,
Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Mr. Leuschel.
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
Appellant, Dorothy Jean Riddle, was convicted of forgery. She
challenges that conviction in this appeal. She asserts that
there was insufficient evidence to support a conviction under
the specific subparagraph of the forgery statute that she was
charged with violating. We reverse.
Was there sufficient evidence to support Ms. Riddle's
forgery conviction under Wyo. Stat. Ann. §
6-3-602(a)(ii) (LexisNexis 2013)?
The facts of this case are relatively straightforward and, in
large measure, undisputed. Ms. Riddle deposited a $4, 000
check in a joint account that she held with her son, Dalton.
The check was written on the account of her mother-in-law,
and was made payable to Dalton Riddle. The signature on the
check indicated that it had been executed by the
The mother-in-law learned of the existence of the check when
she received an overdraft notice on her account. She notified
police that the check had been stolen and that she believed
the theft took place while she was out of town. She did not
write or sign the check and did not authorize anyone else to
write a check for that amount in her name.
During the ensuing investigation, law enforcement reviewed
surveillance video from the credit union where the check had
been deposited. The video revealed that the deposit was made
by Ms. Riddle. She was subsequently arrested and charged with
forgery under Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-3-602(a)(ii). A jury
trial was held and she was found guilty. A subsequent motion
for a judgement of acquittal was denied and Ms. Riddle was
sentenced to a prison term of four to eight years. That
sentence was suspended and she was placed on probation. She
filed this timely appeal.
When reviewing a sufficiency of the evidence claim in a
[w]e examine and accept as true the State's evidence and
all reasonable inferences which can be drawn from it. We do
not consider conflicting evidence presented by the defendant.
We do not substitute our judgment for that of the jury;
rather, we determine whether a jury could have reasonably
concluded each of the elements of the crime was proven beyond
a reasonable doubt. This standard applies whether the
supporting evidence is direct or circumstantial.
Bean v. State, 2016 WY 48, ¶ 44, 373 P.3d
372, 386 (Wyo. 2016) (quoting Guerrero v. State,
2012 WY 77, ¶ 14, 277 P.3d 735, 738-39 (Wyo. 2012)).
Mraz v. State, 2016 WY 85, ¶ 18, 378 P.3d 280,
286 (Wyo. 2016). To evaluate the sufficiency of the evidence
in this case, however, we must first determine the specific
conduct prohibited by Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-3-602(a)(ii).
"Statutory interpretation raises questions of law, which
we review de novo." PacifiCorp, Inc. v.