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Teens to be tried as adults in 14-year-old’s death

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Robert Dean Maher died Sunday in an altercation at Eastridge Mall in Casper. Photo via
David Velazquez with the Casper Star-Tribune, via the Wyoming News Exchange

CASPER — Two juveniles in custody accused of stabbing a minor who later died outside a mall in Casper will be tried as adults.

Dominique Antonio Richard Harris, born in 2008, and Jarreth Joseflee Sabastian Plunkett, born in 2009, are both charged with felonious conspiracy to commit murder, felonious aggravated assault and battery and a misdemeanor theft, according to court records.

Plunkett is also charged with first-degree murder.

Robert Dean Maher, 14, was stabbed twice in the abdomen with a stolen kitchen knife and died outside Eastridge Mall in Casper on Sunday afternoon.

Harris and Plunkett were arrested later that day in the 500 block of Long Lane, a residential street less than 500 feet from the mall.

Police responded to a call in front of Hibachi Supreme Buffet at 1:41 p.m., according to an affidavit. A police interview with one of Maher’s friends, who accompanied him to the mall, alleged that Maher received a call from his girlfriend saying that she was being followed by two guys — Harris and Plunkett — and Maher went to the mall to keep her safe.

At the mall, Maher found his girlfriend, and Maher, Harris, Plunkett and a group that had formed ended up in the parking lot of the mall.

Blood debt

A police interview with Harris after his arrest revealed that he and Plunkett had wanted to fight Maher weeks before the Sunday incident.

Roughly two weeks ago, during spring break, Harris and Plunkett went into a porta-potty together at a public park in Evansville and Maher, who was also at the park, called them “freaks” afterward, according to the affidavit.

Plunkett in his interview with the police said they went in together because it was cold outside.

Harris and Plunkett had wanted to fight Maher since the incident at the park, according to the affidavit. The affidavit notes an incident where the pair asked Maher’s girlfriend and another of Maher’s friends where Maher was or where he lived.

Harris in his interview with police recounted that Plunkett asked Maher’s friend if he wanted to fight them in order to “pay” Maher’s “blood debt.”

Harris also recounted an incident when Plunkett said that he wanted to “gut that dude,” an incident when Plunkett said he was going to “shank” someone and another incident when Plunkett mentioned shooting an ex-girlfriend’s house.


The day of the stabbing, Harris and Plunkett were dropped off at the mall before noon.

Harris and Plunkett, according to court documents, went to Target and stole Red Bulls, sour straw candy and two kitchen knives.

“(Harris) stated (Plunkett) had taken the knife knowing they were going to fight (Maher),” the affidavit states.

Harris, prior to the altercation with Maher, gave his knife to someone else.

Plunkett in his interview with police said he kept his knife because he “could not trust anybody” but that Harris did not want to hold a knife since he was on probation. The police affidavit confirmed Harris was on probation due to previous theft charges.

The pair additionally put on “shiestys” — a balaclava-style mask made of a thinner material — ahead of the altercation, according to the affidavit.

The altercation

Video of the altercation obtained by Capser police shows that Maher “clearly did not want to fight,” because he was seen moving away from Plunkett continuously, according to the affidavit.

Plunkett in his interview with police recounts that Maher told him to “put the knife away — this isn’t fair,” to which Plunkett responded by saying, “I don’t play fair.”

“Maher also put his hands up, indicating that his hands were empty,” the affidavit said.

Harris wrapped his arms around Maher, lifted him and then slammed down with “great force” onto his left side, according to the affidavit. Harris in his testimony to police said he slammed Maher to the ground because he was angry about the porta-potty incident and that “he wanted to make sure the fight was over.”

Harris is seen holding Maher while Plunkett jumped in. Harris appears to strike Maher in the face, while Plunkett is observed swinging the knife in a downward motion, stabbing Maher twice, the affidavit states.

Plunkett in his testimony to police said he “saw” Maher get stabbed by a third person.

Harris in his police interview confirmed that Maher “never threw a punch, never slapped and never pushed anyone.”

Maher got up holding his abdomen and walked back to the mall entrance doors. He collapsed as he tried to go through the mall doorway with the help of his friend, according to an affidavit.


Harris and Plunkett ran westbound following the altercation. Both took off their masks and Plunkett threw the knife in the snow, according to an affidavit. Police in the affidavit said the masks and knife were recovered but with damage due to weather conditions.

This story was published on April 11, 2024.

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