Cheyenne man gets life in prison for killing 2, injuring 2 others
CHEYENNE — A man accused of killing two people, injuring two teenage boys and shooting at another man was sentenced to life in prison Monday afternoon in Laramie County District Court.
Just before his sentencing, Andrew Jonathan Weaver pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, three counts of second-degree attempted murder, and one count of felony aggravated assault and battery (bodily injury with a weapon) as part of a plea agreement.
On Sept. 16, 2019, Weaver shot and killed Adrien Butler, 37, and Shaline Wymer, 30, at a home in the 3400 block of East 11th Street. He also shot and injured two 14-year-old boys, one of whom was hospitalized for two months, and shot at, but missed, Armando Butler, another man present at the scene.
Laramie County District Judge Steven Sharpe sentenced Weaver to life in prison for each count of murder and attempted murder, and eight to 10 years in prison for the aggravated assault and battery charge, all to run concurrently.
Sharpe also ordered that Weaver pay more than $17,600 in restitution to three of the victims' family members. Weaver was given credit for 701 days of time served behind bars.
A seventh felony count, felon in possession of a firearm, was dismissed at sentencing as part of the agreement, along with two misdemeanor theft charges in a separate case. Weaver also agreed to waive all rights to appeal and agreed not to seek a sentence reduction.
Laramie County District Attorney Leigh Anne Manlove said reaching the plea agreement assured the victims and their families that Weaver would be held accountable, and it spared child witnesses from having to testify and being subject to cross-examination at trial.
Several family members of the victims read statements describing how Weaver's actions had affected them and their families. Awanda Butler, the mother of Adrien Butler, said she forgave Weaver because her son rests in peace, while Weaver ruined his own.
"You have my forgiveness, because you took your life," she said.
The mother and father of one of the 14-year-old victims wrote a letter that was read in court by an advocate. They described the experience of having their son airlifted to a hospital, where they were told he'd died on the helicopter, but was revived. Their son spent two months and five days in a Colorado hospital, and the incident brought them to their knees financially, they said.
Because of his injuries caused by being shot in the back of the head by Weaver, their son will have brain issues for the rest of his life and be limited in what he can pursue, the parents said.
The advocate also read a statement from the teenager, who said that after spending two weeks in a coma, he had to relearn how to do everything, including eating and drinking. He said he was left unable to hear in one ear, has to endure repeated doctor's visits, and can't do certain things – including play football, which he enjoyed – because he is prone to overheating and passing out as a result of his brain injury. The boy said he believed Weaver should pay for everything done to his family.
Shalene Wymer's grandmother, Patricia Wymer, showed a picture of her granddaughter to the courtroom and spoke about the impact of Shalene's death on her children. The father of Shalene's children said it had been difficult to raise them without her, especially their young son.
Acknowledging the pain of the victims and their families, State Public Defender Diane Lozano, Weaver's attorney for the case, said Weaver had been in the criminal justice system in one way or another since the age of 13, and suffered numerous traumas and mental health struggles in his life. She said she believed methamphetamine to be largely responsible for the events that took place.
Lozano said Weaver felt "incredible remorse," that his shame was genuine, and that he'd expressed he didn't think he could live with what he did, especially to the children involved.
Weaver, who was present in the courtroom, read a statement saying that he would never know all of the pain he caused the victims and their families, and that no amount of time in prison was enough to make up for it.
"No matter what happened in that bedroom before I started shooting, it is my fault," Weaver said, referring to statements he made to detectives and in court Monday that he began shooting because he felt threatened. "I deserve to die in prison. I deserve worse."
On the day of the incident, Cheyenne Police officers found Wymer dead at the home with a gunshot wound to her head. Adrien Butler was shot in the head and declared dead at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, according to court documents.
A 14-year-old boy was shot in the hand, head and stomach, but survived after being airlifted to Children’s Hospital Colorado. Another 14-year-old was shot in the face and treated at the hospital, but was released the same day.
Armando Butler was shot at, but he told police he avoided being shot by diving under a bed. While he was lying on the floor, Adrien Butler was shot and fell on top of him, according to court documents.
About two hours after the incident, officers found Weaver in a field by Ashley Furniture on Nationway. He was in possession of a silver-and-black Smith and Wesson 9mm semiautomatic handgun, which he later told detectives was the gun he used to shoot Wymer, Butler and the two boys.
During the interview with detectives, Weaver said he’d gone to the home to trade a gun and buy methamphetamine, but that he felt threatened and decided to shoot Butler, Wymer and others in the home, according to court documents.
Weaver pleaded not guilty in July 2020 to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault and battery with bodily injury with a weapon, and felon in possession of a firearm.
In February 2020, he pleaded guilty to a gun charge in U.S. District Court in connection with this case. He pleaded guilty to being in possession of a stolen firearm, with an additional charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm dismissed at sentencing as part of a plea agreement, according to previous reporting.
He was sentenced to 120 months in prison, to run concurrently with the Laramie County District Court sentence.
Weaver’s district court case was mentioned in a recent charge filed by the Wyoming State Bar against Manlove, which said Weaver was released from jail in September 2019 because of a failure of Manlove’s office to file charges against him. Five days later, Weaver was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting.