Another shootout suspect pleads not guilty


A Craig teenager accused of robbing a bar and shooting at police in Casper, Wyo., pleaded not guilty to charges that include five counts of attempted murder.

Johnathan Milligan, 16, entered his plea Wednesday morning during an arraignment hearing in Natrona County District Court. He faces nine charges: conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, accessory and/or aiding and abetting a larceny, aiding and/or abetting, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.

A District Court judge entered Milligan's plea and kept his bond amount at $750,000. Prosecutors said he remains in custody at the Natrona County Detention Center.

Milligan is one of six Craig suspects who in late 2006 allegedly burglarized several businesses in Moffat County and then traveled to Casper, where they are accused of robbing a bar and trading gunfire while trying to flee police.

Milligan is the third suspect to plead not guilty to the charges. Paul Martin Howell, 29, and Michael Garren, 19, the two adults accompanying Milligan and three other juveniles, entered their pleas in January and February, respectively.

Howell and Milligan are also being held at the detention center, each on $1 million bond.

Two other suspects -- Daniel Merwin, 16, and James Gore, 17 -- are expected to enter pleas during arraignment hearings late next week. Steven Liljedahl, 16, is being tried in juvenile court.

Each of the suspects faces similar charges of robbery and attempted murder.

In December 2006, the Moffat County Sheriff's Office reported that investigators believed two more Craig juveniles assisted the six suspects with the burglaries of several businesses in Craig.

Sheriff's Office investigator K.C. Hume said deputies are preparing to submit case information against all eight suspects -- the six in custody in Wyoming and two unidentified suspects in Moffat County -- to the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office for consideration of charges.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or

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