from the District Court of Sweetwater County The Honorable
Nena James, Judge
Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender:
Diane Lozano, Wyoming State Public Defender; Kirk A. Morgan,
Chief Appellate Counsel
Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney
General; Christyne M. Martens, Deputy Attorney General;
Caitlin F. Harper, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Jessica
Frint, Senior Assistant Attorney General
DAVIS, C.J., and FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ.
Edward Barrowes was convicted of one count of aggravated
vehicular homicide and sentenced to a prison term of fourteen
to eighteen years. After this Court affirmed his conviction,
Mr. Barrowes filed a timely W.R.Cr.P. 35(b) motion for
sentence reduction. The district court denied the motion, and
Mr. Barrowes presents two issues on appeal, which he states
I. Did the district court abuse its discretion when it denied
Mr. Barrowes' motion for a sentence reduction?
II. Does Mr. Barrowes' sentence constitute cruel and
unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to the United
The incident and surrounding circumstances that led to Mr.
Barrowes' conviction were described in our decision
affirming his conviction on direct appeal.
Barrowes is a professional semi-trailer truck driver with a
commercial driver's license. A commercial driver's
license certifies that a person has gone through the required
training and testing and can legally operate a commercial
motor vehicle weighing over a certain amount. Those holding a
commercial driver's license are subject to federal
regulations because of the higher level of knowledge,
experience, and skill required to drive a commercial motor
The day before the accident, on April 21, 2015, Barrowes and
his co-driver, Dennis Pehrson, departed Tremonton, Utah in a
semi tractor pulling two trailers to the Denver area. They
left around 4:30 p.m., and Pehrson drove the entire stretch
from Utah to Colorado, while Barrowes rested in the sleeper
berth behind the driver's cabin. This portion of the trip
lasted until approximately 1:00 a.m. on the morning of April
22. During at least some of the time while Barrowes was to be
resting in the sleeper portion of the tractor, the evidence
indicated that he was sending and receiving text messages and
possibly talking on the phone.
Barrowes left the sleeper berth at around 2:00 a.m., while
the two were waiting to pick up the return load and return to
Utah. Their freight was ready to transport around 3:30 a.m.
Barrowes took the wheel for the return trip to Tremonton, and
Pehrson climbed into the sleeper berth.
Around 6:45 a.m., Barrowes stopped in the vicinity of Rawlins
for an hour and forty-five minutes, but it is unclear what he
did during that time. He then continued west on Interstate
Forty-five minutes after he got back on the road, another
professional truck driver operating a tractor-trailer behind
Barrowes' truck observed the vehicle swerving
"pretty bad at times" for around three miles over a
period of three or four minutes. The vehicle was swerving so
badly that the other truck driver did not pass and instead
slowed down to keep some distance between the two rigs. He
observed that every time Barrowes' truck would straighten
up, it would soon start swerving again. The truck passed two
exit ramps while the other driver observed its erratic
movements. The rig was travelling around 65 miles an hour,
below the posted limit on I-80.
Meanwhile, another truck had broken down earlier on the
west-bound shoulder of I-80 near Wamsutter. The owner of the
vehicle, Aleksandr Kozak, came to the scene to render
assistance to the driver. The rig was properly parked on the
right shoulder of the road, and its hazard lights were
flashing. Emergency reflective triangles were placed along
the road, and Kozak wore reflective clothing. The weather ...