from the District Court of Albany County The Honorable Tori
R.A. Kricken, Judge.
Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender:
Diane M. Lozano, State Public Defender; Kirk A. Morgan, Chief
Appellate Counsel; Desiree Wilson, Senior Assistant Appellate
Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney
General; Christyne M. Martens, Deputy Attorney General;
Caitlin F. Harper, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Devin
T. Kenney, Assistant Attorney General.
DAVIS, C.J., and BURKE [*] , FOX, KAUTZ, and BOOMGAARDEN, JJ.
A jury convicted Appellant, Chad Christopher Hyatt, of
driving under the influence of alcohol (fourth or subsequent
offense within ten years), in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann.
§ 31-5-233(b)(i). Arguing that the evidence at trial was
insufficient to support his conviction, he appeals. We
Was there sufficient evidence at trial to support Mr.
Hyatt's conviction for driving under the influence
(fourth or subsequent offense within ten years)?
At around 10:00 p.m. on October 16, 2016, Chase
Stricklin saw a truck driving up and down a field
behind his shop in Rock River, Wyoming. According to Chase,
the truck, a "brownish" older model Chevrolet, was
about 200 to 300 yards away, was "driving really fast
and recklessly," was loud and "out of
control," and began flashing its lights when it came to
rest at the far end of the field. After observing the truck
for about ten minutes, Chase called his dad, Rick Stricklin.
Chase also testified that after he called his dad, he heard
the truck driving around town and then on Highway 30, heading
toward Laramie. Chase could not tell anything about the bed
length, could not see inside the truck or tell if there was
more than one person in the truck, and he did not see the tag
number on the license plates.
Rick testified that he was at his home when Chase called him
a little after 10:00 p.m. to tell him what was going on
behind the shop. He made a REDDI (Report Every Drunk Driver
Immediately) report to the police, got dressed, and went
outside to see what was happening. He, too, witnessed an
early 1980's brown Chevy truck "going up and down
the highway, kind of accelerating, decelerating,
accelerating, decelerating, making a lot of noise and
whatnot." He testified that the truck "headed north
up the highway, then south down the highway. Then it turned
off into town, . . . going around a couple of blocks, then
came back out to the highway . . . and headed . . . south out
of Rock River." After seeing the truck himself, Rick
made a second REDDI report to the police to give dispatch a
better description of what was going on and where the truck
was located. Rick also testified that he thought the truck
was "two-tone, but [he could not] say 100 percent
certain." Rick explained that there is never much
traffic late at night in Rock River and that he might have
seen one or two other vehicles that night. He also testified
that he was unable to get a license plate number and could
not see who was driving or how many people were in the truck.
Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Petruso received a
REDDI report at 10:19 p.m. on October 20, 2016, indicating
that an older two-tone brown Chevy pick-up was driving
through fields in Rock River. Trooper Petruso, who was south
of Laramie on Highway 287, headed north toward Rock River on
Highway 30. At 10:52 p.m., 33 minutes after the REDDI report
was received, Trooper Petruso encountered a two-tone brown
Chevy pick-up truck parked off the shoulder and facing south
on Highway 30, approximately .4 miles south of Rock River.
The truck was not running and Trooper Petruso never saw it in
Trooper Petruso testified that the truck was registered to
Mr. Hyatt. Trooper Petruso approached the driver's side
and found Mr. Hyatt sitting in the passenger seat, slouched
over but awake. Mr. Hyatt had red, bloodshot eyes and slurred
speech. Trooper Petruso observed beer cans on the floor, an
open beer can in the center console area, and a strong odor
of flavored alcoholic beverage emanating from inside the
truck. When Trooper Petruso asked Mr. Hyatt how he was doing,
Mr. Hyatt responded with "a couple swear words" and
said that he had just run out of gas. Trooper Petruso asked
Mr. Hyatt to go back to his patrol car with him and Mr. Hyatt
responded, "What are you going to do? Are you going to
arrest me for DUI?" and then Mr. Hyatt began to cry.
After Trooper Petruso asked him multiple times, Mr. Hyatt got
out of the vehicle and sat on the tailgate. Trooper Petruso
pointed out beer cans in the bed of the truck. When Trooper
Petruso asked Mr. Hyatt how he got there, he replied, "I
pulled over," explaining that he had run out of gas. Mr.
Hyatt stated that he tried to get fuel before he left town
and that after he ran out of gas, he pulled his car off the
road and had been sleeping there for "roughly an hour
and a half." Mr. Hyatt told Trooper Petruso that he did
not drink in his truck, and then said that he had been
drinking in his truck since the time he stopped. Mr. Hyatt
also told Trooper Petruso that a friend of his had walked to
Rock River to get some fuel. He could not name the friend,
but kept telling Trooper Petruso to "call him up,"
and when Trooper Petruso said that he did not have his
number, Mr. Hyatt did not provide his friend's phone
number. Trooper Petruso never asked Mr. Hyatt what direction
his friend went or where he went. Trooper Petruso testified
that he glanced in the truck, but did not see the keys to the