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Gabbert v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

June 20, 2018

DOYLE EUGENE GABBERT, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

          Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable Catherine E. Wilking, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Office of the Public Defender: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson [*] , Chief Appellate Counsel; Kirk A. Morgan, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Deputy Attorney General; Caitlin F. Harper, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Benjamin Fischer, Assistant Attorney General.

          Before BURKE, C.J., and DAVIS, FOX, KAUTZ, and BOOMGAARDEN, JJ.

          BURKE, Chief Justice

         [¶1] Appellant, Doyle Eugene Gabbert, was convicted of eight felonies following a bench trial. He contends the district court erred in determining that he failed to prove he was not guilty by reason of mental illness or defect. We affirm.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] Appellant presents one issue:

         Did the district court err when it held that Mr. Gabbert had failed to prove that he was not guilty by reason of mental illness or defect?

         FACTS

         [¶3] Appellant committed a series of crimes over the course of three days in August 2016, while on parole from a lengthy prison sentence. On August 10, 2016, while driving in Casper, Appellant turned without using a signal and cut off another motorist. When the other driver raised his hands in exasperation, Appellant took offense. He pulled up behind the motorist, exited his vehicle, and lifted up his shirt, revealing a handgun. Appellant fired the gun at the motorist as he drove away, breaking both the front and back windshield of the vehicle.

         [¶4] After this incident, Appellant abandoned his vehicle, borrowed a car from an acquaintance, left town and went to a motel near Evansville where a friend had procured a room for him. Prior to leaving for Evansville, he told the acquaintance that the police would be looking for him. Appellant then sent a text message to his parole agent, telling her that "I bring everything on myself; it's not just happening to me. I have been getting high and doing all kinds of stupid shit. So who knows what's coming back on me now." He also told his parole officer that he was in Sheridan instead of Evansville. Appellant told his parole agent that he was staying in Sheridan because he "didn't want her thinking I was in town so she could come grab me."

         [¶5] On August 12, Appellant thought the police had found him at the motel, and he texted a friend that "the God damn cops found me in my motel somehow, and I had to haul ass." Appellant ran to a nearby house and his friend picked him up. While driving away, the friend nearly collided with another car while taking a wide turn at an intersection. Kane Knight, the driver of the car, had to "slam on the brakes to stop." In the car with Mr. Knight were Trentyn Graves, and Mr. Graves's mother, Julia Oliver. Appellant thought that one of those passengers had "flipped [him] off, " and he told his friend to follow them. Mr. Knight noticed that Appellant was waving around a gun as the friend drove the car.

         [¶6] Appellant and his friend followed the other vehicle into the parking lot of a grocery store. As Mr. Knight, Mr. Graves, and Ms. Oliver walked into the store, they heard Appellant hit his pistol against the windshield of Mr. Knight's car. While holding a gun wrapped in a hooded sweatshirt, Appellant demanded Mr. Knight give him the keys to his car. Mr. Knight refused. Appellant unwrapped the sweatshirt to reveal the pistol and again demanded the keys. Ms. Oliver ...


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