Casper Homicide Suspect’s Bond Set at $600,000; He and Victims are Relatives
The suspect in the killing of a husband and the serious wounding of his wife -- the suspect's mother-in-law -- during the weekend was placed on a $600,000 cash-only bond during his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon.
A longtime friend of the wounded woman -- longtime Casper Realtor Rose Dennis -- said she was well-known and well-liked in Casper.
"She was a sweet little old lady just like me," Stephanie Ross said after the initial appearance.
Dennis is hospitalized in critical but stable condition after the alleged attack by George Dickerson, 61.
Dickerson heard the two charges against him from Circuit Court Judge Nichole Collier:
- One count of second-degree murder -- that is, without premeditation -- in the death of Andy William Martin Jr., 76.
- One count of attempted second-degree murder-- that is, without premeditation -- in the wounding of Rose Dennis.
If convicted, each count is punishable by at least 20 years imprisonment.
Both alleged crimes occurred from Saturday to Sunday, Collier said.
Dickerson did not have an attorney at the initial appearance.
He told Collier his family in Casper consists of his wife, and he's been self-employed for two years and before that worked as a home remodeler and installed home heating equipment.
When considering bond, Natrona County Assistant District Attorney Blaine Nelson recommended she set Dickerson's bond at $600,000 cash-only. (The other option would have allowed him to post bond with a bail bonds person, but a 15% charge from the bonds person still would have amounted to $90,000.)
"We have incredible evidence pointing to the double homicide," Nelson said.
He cited several aggravating factors for that recommendation: This was a crime against a family member; DIckerson's time of unemployment; evidence including weapons found at the crime scene and at his house; his own statements to law enforcement; the severe damage to family ties; and previous convictions for driving under the influence and domestic violence.
The risk to public safety is relatively high, and the risk of flight is extremely high, Nelson said.
If Dickerson does bond out, Nelson said the terms of his release would include no alcohol, no contact with Dennis, forbidden from going to Martin's and Dennis' house in the 1600 block of Begonia Street in Paradise Valley and his own house in the 3500 block of Navarre Road.
Collier agreed with Nelson's recommendation, and said he would next appear in circuit court for a preliminary hearing. That's when the state presents evidence that a crime was committed and that he was probably the person who committed it. If a judge agrees, Dickerson will be bound over for trial in Natrona County District Court.
Dickerson said he would not be able to post such a high bond, requested a public defender and that he didn't object to being trespassed from Dennis' house and his own house. "That seems reasonable," he said.
After the initial appearance, neighbor and longtime friend Stephanie Ross said they both had long careers in real estate.
She would go to Dennis' house at least once a week for coffee and occasionally have "girls night out at dinner."
The case started early Sunday morning when officers went to Martin's and Dennis' home in the 1600 block of Begonia Street after dispatch reported an adult male called 911 to report two deceased victims were in the home, according to news releases from the Casper Police Department.
Authorities found Martin and Dennis, who was taken to the Banner Health Wyoming Medical Center. She is alive and considered stable, but remains in critical condition.
Neither Coroner James Whipps' nor the police department's news releases identified a weapon used in the homicide, nor a motive, nor details about how the crime was committed.