Attempted murder suspect pleads not guilty

A Craig woman pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of her former boyfriend at her arraignment in District Court Monday.

Sandra Kay Moore, 50, entered the plea of not guilty after plea agreement negotiations failed to reach a resolution. Chief Judge Michael O'Hara set the case for a 5-day jury trial April 19. The case will be heard by former District Attorney Paul McLimans.

Moore is charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and prohibited use of a weapon. Potential penalties include four to 48 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

Moore was arrested March 20 after police and sheriff's deputies responded to the scene on a report of a man bleeding from the chest. On arrival, officers discovered Moore's former boyfriend, Ron Wyatt, 49, had suffered a gunshot wound to the upper body. The bullet hit him in the shoulder, exited the inside of his left arm and reentered his upper torso, court documents indicate. Wyatt told officers Moore had shot him with a .357 handgun.

While on the scene, officers evacuated trailers in the vicinity of Moore and Wyatt's home at 1679 North Yampa Ave.

Within 30 minutes, officers located Moore in a nearby trailer. She allegedly had been drinking alcohol, which officers smelled "heavily" on her breath. According to police accounts of the incident, Moore allegedly said, "I did something really stupid," and "Is he hurt? There wasn't any blood in the trailer," and "What am I supposed to do when I get beat?"

Moore allegedly told officers the gun was a ".357 Taurus."

On further investigation, police found Moore allegedly had fired two shots. On struck a television in the trailer. The other struck Wyatt.

Moore is being held in the Moffat County Jail on a $250,000 bond. At her arraignment Monday, her lawyer, Sheryl Uhlmann, asked the court to allow the defendant to wear "street clothes" at trial instead of the orange jail uniform.

Uhlmann wondered aloud if McLimans, the former district attorney, would be able to preside over the case since the former prosecutor may have conflicts of interest.

O'Hara referred to the date of the incident and noted it was after McLimans took the job of a district court judge. He said he wasn't aware of any conflicts but was ready to hear them. Uhlmann said she did not know of any specific conflicts.

Uhlmann told the judge she plans to file pre-trial motions on evidentiary matters. O'Hara set the motions hearing for Feb. 15.

Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or jbrowning@craigdailypress.com.

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