Cheyenne Man Deemed Habitual Criminal, Gets 35-50 Years
A Cheyenne man will spend at least 35 years behind bars -- an enhanced sentence for being deemed a habitual criminal -- for seven felonies related to a high-speed chase that could have killed two Highway Patrol troopers in August.
Jimmie Ray Files will serve two 35-year to 50-year sentences for two aggravated assault at the same time, Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking ruled Monday.
Files also will serve eight- to 10-year terms, also concurrently to the sentences for aggravated assault, for five other felonies: two counts of attempted bodily injury against a peace officer, one count of grand larceny, one count of property destruction, and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen sought the habitual criminal designation because Files has a long criminal history of felonies and because the aggravated assault and battery charges -- punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment — are violent felonies.
If the case had gone to trial and Files had been convicted, Files could have faced life imprisonment, Blonigen said in January during the change of plea hearing.
The case began Aug. 21 when a man reported his pickup was stolen from the Casper Country Club, according to court documents.
Later that day, two Highway Patrol troopers saw the pickup driving north on Interstate 25 between Casper and Glenrock and attempted to stop it. The truck accelerated to more than 100 mph. A trooper deployed Stop Sticks which deflated two tires, but the pickup didn’t stop and crossed the median into oncoming traffic.
Another trooper executed a pit maneuver, hitting the pickup to try to stop it. The pickup re-entered the median. It appeared to be stuck, then backed up and stopped.
The troopers drew their guns. Files raised his hands as if about to surrender. He then accelerated toward the troopers who got out of the way.
They fired five shots, hitting Files and the pickup. Files continued accelerating, crashed into a patrol vehicle and broke its rear axle.
He drove the pickup into the prairie, got stuck, and Natrona County Sheriff’s deputies captured him near Blackmore and Lathrop roads east of Casper. They also found a bag found of methamphetamine, packaging material and a scale.
The pickup was a mess with leaking oil, front end damage, paint damage, damage from the pitting maneuver and bullet holes.
Files was a mess, too. He was hospitalized for his injuries.
The troopers were uninjured. They were placed on paid administrative leave while the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation reviewed the case.