The man who police say stabbed another man in the latter's Casper apartment and later drove himself into the North Platte River pleaded guilty Tuesday to two felony charges.
Police say Robert Chad Simmons and Zacharia Lee Johnson attacked the man on March 4, sending him to the hospital with stab wounds to his stomach, torso, leg and neck. Two days later, Simmons drove his car into the North Platte River to “atone for his sins for stabbing a guy the other night,” police documents state.
Simmons settled on a plea deal in which the state agreed to strike sentencing enhancements for the aggravated assault and aggravated burglary charges. The agreement would additionally allow the sentences on the two charges to run concurrently.
Prosecutors did not specify a sentencing cap. The penalties for an aggravated assault and an aggravated burglary in Wyoming are up to 10 years and five to 25 years, respectively.
Simmons entered the pleas at his Tuesday morning hearing in Natrona County District Court and briefly explained his role in the attack.
The defendant conceded that he did arm himself with a knife once he entered the victim’s apartment. When District Judge Thomas Sullins asked Simmons how he inflicted bodily injury on the victim, Simmons responded, “I … stabbed … a man.”
Police say Johnson stabbed the victim after the man opened his front door thinking it was his female neighbor. Johnson and Simmons barged in instead.
Neither the affidavit nor court proceedings indicated a possible motive for the attack. When the victim reportedly asked Johnson what he was doing, Johnson responded, “You know, you son of a b----.”
Johnson pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault and aggravated burglary at his District Court arraignment in April.
Simmons will be officially sentenced after the judge’s receipt of a pre-sentencing investigation and acceptance of the plea agreement.