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Details released in motel homicide case

Benjamin Ketcham (Courtesy of the Laramie County Sheriff's Office)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A 31-year old man was arrested by the Cheyenne Police Department on Wednesday, May 27th, 2020, and now faces a charge of second-degree murder.

Court documents indicated that Benjamin Ketcham made his initial appearance in Laramie County Circuit Court on Thursday, May 28th, to hear the recommended charge of Murder in the Second Degree read to him.

Police say that on the evening of May 22nd, 2020, officers were dispatched to the Lamp Lounge Bar to investigate a report of an injured male who walked into the location bleeding.

The injured male was later identified as Aaron Briggs.

According to the affidavit filed in the case, Briggs was transported to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center for treatment. He was declared deceased by attending medical staff shortly after.

Investigators say that a wound was found in the upper chest of Briggs that was consistent with a gunshot wound from a small-caliber firearm. After reviewing X-Rays, medical staff advised that it looked like Briggs had been shot with a .22LR firearm.

Police say that at the same time, other officers responded to a report of a disturbance in a room at the Lariat Motel, located at 600 Central Avenue. Once there they made contact with an individual who stated that they had witnessed Ketcham shoot Briggs after the two of them had gotten into an argument.

The witness is reported to have told police that Ketcham and Briggs both fled the motel room after the incident.

According to the affidavit, the witness allowed officers to examine the room, where a single .22LR spent shell casing was discovered under the corner of the bed.

Court papers say that a second witness to the alleged shooting was contacted and told authorities that were leaving the motel room when the argument “erupted.” The witness told investigators that they heard a gunshot while they were walking away.

Investigators report that the witness advised them that when they turned around they saw Briggs clenching his chest and observed Ketcham holding a handgun.

If found guilty, Ketcham could face up to life in prison.

No bond information was available at this time.

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Laramie County District Attorney’s Office.