CHEYENNE, Wyo. (KGWN) UPDATE:
Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent says Deputy Derek Colling will not be indicted for involuntary manslaughter for his role in a deadly shooting that took place on November 4th, 2018 in Laramie.
Trent said a grand jury found Colling was justified when he shot and killed 39-year-old Robbie Ramirez.
Dashcam video shows Ramirez kept driving when Deputy Colling attempted to pull him over. Once Ramirez exited his vehicle in front of his Laramie apartment, a struggle ensued resulting in Ramirez's death.
Ramirez and Colling were high school classmates at Laramie High. Ramirez suffered from schizophrenia, and his mother worked with local law enforcement to help train them on interacting with people with mental illness.
The Albany County Attorney's release, and the original story, can be found below.
Albany County Attorney’s Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today, a grand jury decided for no indictment of Corporeal Derek Colling to the criminal charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Robbie Ramirez, finding use of deadly force by Corporeal Derek Colling in this incident was justifiable. Peggy Trent, the Albany County & Prosecuting Attorney requested that a grand jury be specifically convened to hear evidence relating to this shooting. This is the first time that a grand jury has been convened in the State of Wyoming relating to an officer involved shooting.
By Wyoming State law, Grand jury proceedings are done in secret and the Grand Jury‘s primary function is to inquire into matters presented before it and determine if the filing of criminal charges are warranted by the evidence. Evidence was presented by County Attorney Peggy Trent over the course of two (2) days. The evidence presented to the grand jury included evidence collected by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation including crime scene photographs, footage from Corporeal Derek Colling’s body camera, footage from the patrol vehicle of Corporeal Derek Colling and audio recording of radio traffic from this incident. Other evidence presented to the Grand Jury included toxicology reports, autopsy report photographs, audio interview of Corporeal Derek Colling, and expert reports on use of force from Non-Lethal Defense, Inc from Casper, Wyoming and Daigle Law Group, LLC from Southington, Connecticut.
County Attorney Peggy Trent felt convening a grand jury for this matter was the most appropriate course of action. Grand Jury proceedings allow citizens to examine evidence and testimony to determine whether the actions or inactions by law enforcement in using deadly force are within and consistent with the general industry standard for officer involved shootings and whether in this instance actions were within Albany County Sheriff’s Office policy and training guidelines and met with national use of force training standards. This process provides a means for accountability of law enforcement agencies and officers to ensure local polices and national standards are adhered to when deadly force is used. Currently, in the State of Wyoming the decision of whether the use of deadly force by an officer is justified is left to the sole decision of the District Attorneys or County & Prosecuting Attorneys, and these district/county attorneys may convene a grand jury for this purpose at their discretion.
Robbie Ramirez, 39, was shot and killed yesterday on the 2100 block of Garfield in Laramie, WY. The family of the victim believes the deputy involved is Derek Colling. The Albany County Sherriff's Office and the District Attorney are not confirming, or denying the allegations against Colling.
Ramirez spent his life battling mental illness. The two reportedly graduated high school together, as the family of Ramirez believes Colling was aware of the victim's mental illness.
Mother of the victim, Debra Hinkel, claims she heard he tried to get home after a traffic stop. Hinkel, who's been the owner of a healing center for seven years, didn't support Albany County Sherriff O' Malley's decision to hire the deputy she heard is responsible for her son's death. However, she is supportive of the work O'Malley has done to help make sure officers are trained in how to handle people who suffer from a mental illness.
According to previous media reports, Colling was fired from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 2011 for beating a videographer who refused to turned his camera off during a police incident.
Colling was also involved in a police shooting in 2006, of an unarmed boy. However, he was cleared of any charges.