Wyoming’s Highest Court Will Hear Oral Arguments In Steplock Case
Wyoming's highest court will take up oral arguments in the case of a Casper man who was convicted of felony murder in the fatal shooting of his mother.
Andrew Wayne Steplock is currently serving out a life sentence at the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington for felony murder. He's also serving 55 years to life on a second-degree murder charge, 10 to 15 years on an aggravated burglary charge and three to five years on a possession of a deadly weapon with unlawful intent charge.
Twelve Natrona County jurors convicted Steplock of the charges in November 2019.
Attorneys representing Steplock in the appeal process argue that a Natrona County District Court judge erred in denying Steplock's request to postpone his trial hours before it was set to begin. Steplock's attorneys further argue that he did not receive adequate legal representation because they did not prepare a sufficient case supporting his claim of not guilty by reason of mental illness.
Lawyers with the Wyoming Attorney General's Office, who represents the state when cases are appealed, have flatly rejected that argument.
Steplock's attorneys conceded that Steplock fatally shot his mother, Deborah Steplock, at roughly 1 a.m. on February 26, 2019 — but, they argue, Steplock was mentally ill and could not appreciate the egregiousness nor illegality of his actions. Forgey denied Steplock's motion to receive a second evaluation, which was also filed hours before jurors heard opening statements.
The Wyoming Supreme Court will hear arguments the morning of September 21.
Should the court rule in his favor, the case would likely head back to another Natrona County jury.
If the court rules against Steplock, he will have exhausted his most realistic avenue for having his conviction overturned.