Casper Man Charged With Felony Stalking Crime
A Casper man already in jail on aggravated assault charges has been charged with one count of felony stalking, according to court documents and a Natrona County prosecutor.
Erick Richardson, born in 1990, heard the count during his initial appearance before Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Michael Patchen on Tuesday.
"Additional charges can and will be added," Natrona County Assistant District Attorney Blaine Nelson said.
The felony stalking count came about when Richardson would smuggle letters to his ex-girlfriend and others, Nelson said.
Richardson also asked friends to drive by the woman's residence and see if her car was there, Nelson said.
The affidavit supporting the charge was filed on Monday, but the investigation began Aug. 17 when a law enforcement officer was dispatched to talk to a woman who reported Richardson had contacted her despite a protection order in place.
The woman said she received a text message from a friend of Richardson who was in the Natrona County jail.
She called her attorney who told her to call the police, according to the affidavit.
In the text Richardson, through his friend, said he wanted to know if the woman wanted a maximum sentence for him.
Richardson said he would never try to take their baby, and had to file for a DNA test for visitation because of the protection order.
"'He's not mad, but very upset and loves you know matter what,'" the text said, "This is the last you'll here from him unless you reach out. He doesn't know know happened recently and sorry, He hopes you're happy and means that. He's always gonna be here and never be against you or out numbered no matter what and LOVES you and misses you."
The officer went to the jail and talked to Richardson who said that the friend was his cousin, according to the affidavit. "He knew he wasn't supposed to have communication with [the woman] but he needed to hear from her that she was done with the relationship."
During the initial appearance, Nelson said Richardson was in jail on charges of aggravated assault on a pregnant woman and strangulation of a household member, according to the information filed on July 1.
His bond was set at $50,000 for those alleged crimes, and Nelson asked for a consecutive $50,000 bond for the felony stalking charge,
Public Defender Joseph Cole said Richardson wasn't able to make that bond, and he wouldn't be able to make a consecutive bond and be released regardless how high Patchen set the bond.
Patchen agreed with Nelson and added the consecutive $50,000 bond.
Richardson will have a preliminary hearing before a Circuit Court judge in 10 days if he doesn't bond out and in 20 days if he does. That hearing will determine whether a crime probably occurred and the accused probably committed it. If the judge agrees with the prosecutor, the case will be bound over to Natrona County District Court for trial.