Shootout suspects to appear in Natrona County

A Craig suspect charged with several felonies in stemming from an alleged attempted burglary and shootout with police, is scheduled to appear in Natrona County District Court today.

In April, juvenile James Gore informed the court he intended to plead guilty to four criminal charges. His change of plea hearing is scheduled for this morning.

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Gore, who had previously pleaded not guilty, is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, accessory and/or aiding and abetting a robbery, aiding and/or abetting stolen goods and conspiracy to commit murder.

He is one of six suspects who allegedly burglarized several Moffat County businesses late last year. Authorities said the suspects then crossed state lines into Wyoming, where they attempted to rob a bar and exchanged gunfire with police while trying to flee.

Four of the six suspects are juveniles.

Steven Liljedahl, another of the juveniles, was slated to appear for an arraignment hearing Tuesday. However, because of a crowded court docket, the hearing was rescheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 22.

Liljedahl is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, accessory and/or aiding and abetting a robbery, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, accessory and/or aiding and abetting stolen goods, and aiding and/or abetting assault and battery.

Juvenile Johnathan Milligan is scheduled for an Aug. 20 trial.

Milligan, who faces robbery, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted first-degree murder charges, has pleaded not guilty.

Another juvenile, Daniel Merwin, who pled guilty to robbery and concealing stolen property charges, was scheduled for a May 18 sentencing; however, the hearing has been postponed until after the trial of an alleged adult accomplice.

The juveniles were allegedly joined by two adults, Michael Garren and Paul Martin Howell, of Craig.

Garren pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit murder in March, and is scheduled for a May 25 sentencing. Howell is charged with counts of attempted robbery, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder, and is set for a July 9 trial.

A Natrona County court clerk said it's possible sentencing hearings for several suspects could be delayed until after the Howell trial, in case any of the suspects choose to testify against Howell, who authorities believe to be the ring leader.

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