Man Charged as Habitual Criminal in Casper-Area Shooting
A man accused of firing several bullets into a trailer home north of Casper in early April pleaded not guilty to a pair of felony charges Wednesday morning.
Lyle James Clark, 43, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault, and prosecutors seek to label him a habitual criminal in each count. As a result, Clark could face up to life in prison on each count.
According to an affidavit, Clark told an investigator with the Natrona County Sheriff's Office that he and his girlfriend had been drinking late on the night of April 6 and into the early morning hours of April 7. They talked about how the girlfriend's father had allegedly abused her as a child.
So, Clark allegedly decided to drive to the man's house to "shoot it up" in order to "scare him."
Clark drove a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt to the house, with his girlfriend inside. When they arrived, Clark got out of the car and walked to a property fence before firing seven to nine rounds from a .22-caliber rifle into the house.
Clark said he shot at the bedroom window because he had been inside the house previously and knew it to be the bedroom where his girlfriend's father slept. Clark later allegedly said he thought it was a "fifty-fifty" chance that he actually shot the man.
According to the affidavit, Clark told investigators that he had discarded the rifle in a broken-down pickup truck that he owned. Deputies later executed a search warrant and found the rifle where Clark had said it would be.
The victims had been lying on their bed, with the man having gotten up to extinguish his cigarette, when the bullets came through the window into the bedroom. Had the man not gotten up, he told investigators, he would have been hit by multiple bullets.
One bullet hit the family cat in the face. The animal later had to be euthanized.
District Judge Daniel Forgey on Wednesday denied a defense request to reduce Clark's bond, which remains set at $250,000 cash or surety. Clark was in custody at the time of Wednesday's hearing.
Per charging information filed by the Natrona County District Attorney's Office, Clark has previously been convicted on felony charges of receiving and concealing stolen property and two separate charges of domestic battery as a third or subsequent offense.