Manders bound over to district court

Alexis Barker

Alexis Barker

NLJ News Editor


Sixth Circuit Court Judge Mathew Castano bound over Paul Manders to district court on the charge of second-degree murder, following his preliminary hearing on Sept. 1. Castano also denied Manders’ request to have his bond lowered. 

During the hearing, both Weston County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Fields and Special Agent Ed Rosier of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation testified that enough evidence, in their opinion, existed to support the view that the murder was committed with purpose and malice. 

Wyoming statutes state that murder in the second degree is committed when a person “purposely and maliciously, but without premeditation, kills any human being.” 

“We have met the burden; there is probable cause that the crime was committed by Manders,” prosecuting attorney Alex Berger said. “That on July 27 Manders purposely and maliciously killed Clyde (Vernon).” 

Testimony from Fields established the probable cause for the date of the incident and the location of the crime as being in Weston County, while Rosier’s testimony established that Manders had admitted to multiple people that he had shot Clyde, Berger said. 

“Manders purposely killed, based on his statements. That he shot him (Clyde) because he was driving a skid steer. There is sufficient probable cause,” Berger said. 

According to Berger, the testimony proves the purposeful intent of the shots because two of the wounds were in the head and the other was in the chest. 

“The state has proved by probable cause that it was purposeful,” Berger said. “In these cases, the most difficult to prove is ‘maliciously.’”

Testimony also follows from various people that Manders’ actions following the incident illustrated the malicious nature of the defendant’s state of mind. 

Manders’ public defender, Rick Weisheimer, argued that any perceived malice in Manders’ statements could be misinterpreted. 

“Manders believed Clyde appeared to be driving a skid steer over to Manders. He (Berger) infers malice from these statements, why not infer that it wasn’t,” Weisheimer asked, adding that he would request that the case not be bound over to district court. 

After closing statements, Castano said that it appeared that Manders shot with purpose but that  the question of malice is more complex.

“Given the nature of the incident, the ongoing dispute and the multiple shots, malice can be inferred,” Castano said. “The court does find probable cause to bound over to district court.” 

Castano had initially set the bond, cash or commercial surety, at $150,000, on July 29. During the Sept. 1 hearing, Manders asked that his bond be reduced. 

“I will stay at my brother’s house. He is disabled and lives two blocks from here (the Weston County Courthouse),” Manders said, adding that he would stay in Newcastle to help his brother. 

Berger, however, asked that the court retain the bond amount of $150,000. 

“There are reasons for the bond to remain the same; it is very unfortunate. He shot someone three times and killed them. Let the district court review it,” Berger said. 

“I can understand the desire to be released, but here we find that serious crimes have been committed. Facing 20 years creates a flight risk. I would note that we set bond substantially lower than requested,” Castano said, before electing to leave the bond amount at $150,000. 

“This can be addressed at arraignment; it can be addressed then in district court,” Castano said. “That judge can do what he thinks is appropriate.” 

If convicted, Manders faces no less than 20 years in prison with a maximum sentence of life in prison. A fine of no more than $10,000 may also be added to the sentence.


News Letter Journal

News Letter Journal
14 W. Main St.
P.O. Box 40
Newcastle, WY 82701
Ph: (307) 746-2777
Fax: (307) 746-2660

Email Us


Please Login for Premium Content