Laramie County DA Admits ‘Mistakes’ Made in Double Homicide Case
Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Grant Manlove has acknowledged that "mistakes" were made in the Andrew Weaver case.
As you may recall, Weaver was arrested on Sept. 8, 2019, after stealing a 9mm handgun from a man he had been staying with.
Misdemeanor theft and possession of methamphetamine charges were filed against Weaver on Sept. 12, but not before he had been released from jail.
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On Sept. 16, Weaver opened fire at 3436 E. 11th Street, killing 37-year-old Adrien Butler and 30-year-old Shaline Wymer and seriously injuring two 14-year-old boys.
He also shot at Armando Butler, who was able to avoid being struck by a bullet by falling to the floor.
Cheyenne police say Weaver told them that he had gone to the house with the intention of trading a gun for drugs and a different gun. He also said that he had bought methamphetamine from Adrien Butler in the past.
Weaver was sentenced to life in prison on Aug. 16, 2021, after pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, three counts of attempted second-degree murder, and one count of aggravated assault.
In a press release sent out early this morning, the first day of a Wyoming State Bar hearing to determine whether Manlove should be removed from office, Manlove acknowledged that mistakes do happen, as they did with the Weaver case.
“Our team is human,” said Manlove.
You can read the full press release below:
Today, Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove is defending her conservative Republican, belt-tightening policy decisions in front of the State Bar’s Board of Professional Responsibility. The State Bar’s unprecedented hearing February 2nd-11th could reverse Wyoming citizens’ vote to elect Manlove and remove her from office.
Manlove’s decisions to place a priority on the prosecutions of violent and serious crimes rather than prosecuting Laramie County residents not wearing masks during the pandemic is one of several issues the State Bar Board of Professional Responsibility has charged Manlove with – charges which could potentially remove her from the office that Laramie County residents elected her to serve in.
“When faced with budget cuts during the economic downturn, I made many decisions to ensure the District Attorney’s Office could be as effective as possible given the reality of the cutbacks that needed to be made. Going after violent criminals in our communities rather than focusing on maskless Laramie County residents was an easy, common-sense decision for me,” said Manlove.
The State Bar Board of Professional Responsibility is also relitigating issues that the Wyoming Supreme Court already ruled on, in favor of Manlove. The Wyoming Supreme Court denied a petition that the Office of Bar Counsel brought against Manlove a year ago, related to allegations that Manlove asked staff to not report overtime and that Manlove delayed filling vacant positions. Despite the Wyoming Supreme Court’s decision to side with Manlove, the Board of Professional Responsibility is retrying the case.
“The Wyoming Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the Office of Bar Counsel’s attempt to remove me from office,” said Manlove. “Despite the Wyoming Supreme Court’s denial of his petition to suspend my license, Bar Counsel has been unrelenting in his attempts to remove from office, seemingly ignoring the judgment of Wyoming’s highest judicial authority on these disproven claims.”
Allegations have been made by Bar Counsel related to two cases that were not prosecuted. Manlove acknowledges that as with any organization, and especially with one that has a lean staff, that mistakes do happen, as they did with the Weaver case. “Our team is human,” said Manlove. In the other case, Manlove asked the Cheyenne Police Department to conduct additional investigation, and the Department refused. “If I am going to charge someone with a violent felony, like child sexual abuse, I am going to be absolutely certain that I can prove that case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Manlove said. “Often times that requires that law enforcement do more work in the investigation but when they refused, I had an ethical obligation to decline a case I could not prove.”
With the state’s highest caseload, Manlove has remained steadfast in her commitment to the Laramie County community. “I am proud of my service to the people of Laramie County,” said Manlove. Manlove and her team of five prosecutors charge about 10,000 misdemeanor, felony, and juvenile cases each year. “We have done a mountain of a job. Although my pursuit to restore integrity has been met with significant resistance, I will steadfastly continue my fight on behalf of the children and families of Laramie County.”