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Teen charged with 1st-degree murder in Tuesday death of Casper girl


CASPER, Wyo. — A 17-year-old boy, identified only by the initials E.C., was charged Wednesday with one count of murder and one count of stalking in the Tuesday death of a girl, according to the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.

E.C. appeared by videoconference during his initial appearance before Natrona County Circuit Court Judge Kevin Taheri.

The courtroom was full and was watched over by three Natrona County Sheriff’s deputies.

E.C., previously identified as the suspect and arrested, is accused in the killing of 17-year-old Lenea Brown of Casper, according to Natrona County Coroner James Whipps and the Casper Police Department. The incident occurred on the 6800 block of Buckboard Road. The case remains under investigation.

District Attorney Dan Itzen told the court that E.C. is charged with premeditated murder on May 14. First-degree murder is a felony which is punishable by death, life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, or life imprisonment. State law also says “that a person convicted of murder in the first degree who was under the age of eighteen (18) years at the time of the offense shall be punished by life imprisonment.”

E.C. is also charged with stalking from April 18 to May 14. Stalking, or intent to harass, is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $750 and/or six months’ imprisonment.

He said “yes sir” when Taheri asked him if he understood the charges.

At least for this hearing, E.C. was represented by attorney Amy Iberlin, who said he may need a public defender for his subsequent court appearances.

When Taheri asked about a bond recommendation, Itzen said, “Obviously these are extremely serious charges.” In the time leading up to the alleged murder, E.C. was making homicidal and suicidal threats, and Itzen said he remains a threat to the community.

Itzen asked Taheri to set a $1 million cash-only bond, while Iberlin asked for $500,000 cash or surety bond so that E.C. could be released to his family. Taheri said he agreed with the prosecution and set the $1 million cash-only bond.

If E.C. is bonded out, Taheri set conditions for his release, including no consumption of alcohol and alcohol and drug testing. Itzen said E.C. had consumed alcohol before the alleged murder.

If he bonds out, he will have a preliminary hearing in 20 days; otherwise, the hearing will take place in 10 days. A preliminary hearing occurs before a circuit court judge in which the state presents probable cause that a crime was committed and that the accused committed it. If the judge agrees, E.C. will be bound over to Natrona County District Court for trial.

Even though E.C. is charged as an adult, no cameras were permitted in the courtroom because he is a minor.